Literacy rates among youth aged 15 to 24 and adults are the test of an educational system, and the overall trend is positive, thanks to the expansion of educational opportunities. Globally, the youth literacy rate increased from 83 per cent to 91 per cent over two decades, while the number of illiterate youth declined from million to million. Regional and gender disparities persist, however. Literacy is lowest in least developed countries and higher among males than females. In the most recent years for which data are available, young women accounted for 59 per cent of the total illiterate youth population.
List of countries by literacy rate
Literacy Rates - UNICEF DATA
There are many ways to measure the literacy rates of a nation. In order to compare nations, however, a standard such as the Adult Literacy Index is helpful for determining the social welfare of the people from country to country. By looking at the ALI, nations and philanthropies can decide where their money -- and their time -- may be needed most. The Adult Literacy Index, created in by the United Nations in the hopes of dramatically raising literacy rates by the end of the 20th century, measures the literacy rates for each country's population. According to the World Bank, the ALI is calculated first by determining the number of people who are literate in the country, and then dividing the number of literates, who are aged 15 years and over, by their population and multiplying the result by In order to compute ALI, the data is broken into three groups: the number of adults in a country who have completed elementary school, the number of adults ages 15 to 24 who are literate, and the number of adults over 24 years old who are literate.
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)
This is a list of countries by literacy rate. Where data is taken from a different source, notes are provided. The data is collated by mostly using surveys within the last ten years which are self-declared by the persons in question.
Divide the number of literates aged 15 years and over by the corresponding age group population and multiply the result by It is common practice to present and analyse literacy rates together with the absolute number of adult illiterates as improvements in literacy rates may sometimes be accompanied by increases in the illiterate population due to the changing demographic structure. It has been observed that some countries apply definitions and criteria for literacy which are different from the international standards defined above, or equate persons with no schooling to illiterates, or change definitions between censuses. Practices for identifying literates and illiterates during actual census enumeration may also vary, as well as errors in literacy self-declaration can affect the reliability of literacy statistics.