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Field Listing :: Literacy
This entry includes a definition of literacy and UNESCO's percentage estimates for populations aged 15 years and over, including total population, males, and females. There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.
By Country Listing of the values for the Literacy field
Country Literacy
Afghanistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43%
male: 55.5%
female: 29.8% (2018)
Albania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.1%
male: 98.5%
female: 97.8% (2018)
Algeria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.4%
male: 87.4%
female: 75.3% (2018)
Andorra
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2016)
Angola
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.1%
male: 82%
female: 60.7% (2015)
Antigua and Barbuda
definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
total population: 99%
male: 98.4%
female: 99.4% (2015)
Argentina
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 98.9%
female: 99.1% (2018)
Armenia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2017)
Aruba
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 97.8%
female: 97.8% (2018)
Azerbaijan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.7% (2017)
Bahrain
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.5%
male: 99.9%
female: 94.9% (2018)
Bangladesh
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.9%
male: 76.7%
female: 71.2% (2018)
Barbados
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.6%
female: 99.6% (2014)
Belarus
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2018)
Benin
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.4%
male: 54%
female: 31.1% (2018)
Bhutan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 66.6%
male: 75%
female: 57.1% (2017)
Bolivia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.5%
female: 88.6% (2015)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.5%
male: 99.5%
female: 97.5% (2015)
Botswana
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.5%
male: 88%
female: 88.9% (2015)
Brazil
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.2%
male: 93%
female: 93.4% (2018)
Brunei
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.2%
male: 98.1%
female: 93.4% (2018)
Bulgaria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.7%
female: 98.1% (2015)
Burkina Faso
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 41.2%
male: 50.1%
female: 32.7% (2018)
Burma
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 75.6%
male: 80%
female: 71.8% (2016)
Burundi
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68.4%
male: 76.3%
female: 61.2% (2017)
Cabo Verde
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.8%
male: 91.7%
female: 82% (2015)
Cambodia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 80.5%
male: 86.5%
female: 75% (2015)
Cameroon
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 77.1%
male: 82.6%
female: 71.6% (2018)
Cayman Islands
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 98.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 99% (2007)
Central African Republic
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.4%
male: 49.5%
female: 25.8% (2018)
Chad
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 22.3%
male: 31.3%
female: 14% (2016)
Chile
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.4%
male: 96.3%
female: 96.3% (2017)
China
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.8%
male: 98.5%
female: 95.2% (2018)
Colombia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.1%
male: 94.9%
female: 95.3% (2018)
Comoros
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58.8%
male: 64.6%
female: 53% (2018)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
total population: 77%
male: 88.5%
female: 66.5% (2016)
Congo, Republic of the
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 80.3%
male: 86.1%
female: 74.6% (2018)
Costa Rica
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.9%
male: 97.8%
female: 97.9% (2018)
Cote d'Ivoire
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.2%
male: 53.7%
female: 40.5% (2018)
Croatia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.7%
female: 98.9% (2015)
Cuba
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.8% (2015)
Cyprus
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.7% (2015)
Czechia
definition: NA
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2011)
Dominican Republic
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 93.8%
female: 93.8% (2016)
Ecuador
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.8%
male: 93.8%
female: 92.1% (2017)
Egypt
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.2%
male: 76.5%
female: 65.5% (2017)
El Salvador
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.5%
male: 90.6%
female: 86.7% (2017)
Equatorial Guinea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.3%
male: 97.4%
female: 93% (2015)
Eritrea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 84.4%
female: 68.9% (2018)
Estonia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015)
Eswatini
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.4%
male: 88.3%
female: 88.5% (2015)
Ethiopia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.8%
male: 57.2%
female: 44.4% (2017)
Fiji
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.1%
female: 99.1% (2018)
Gabon
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.7%
male: 85.9%
female: 83.4% (2018)
Gambia, The
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.8%
male: 61.8%
female: 41.6% (2015)
Gaza Strip
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.2%
male: 98.7%
female: 95.7% (2018)

note: estimates are for Gaza and the West Bank

Georgia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.4%
female: 99.3% (2017)
Ghana
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 82%
female: 71.4% (2015)
Greece
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.7%
male: 98.5%
female: 96.9% (2015)
Greenland
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2015)
Grenada
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 98.6%
female: 98.6% (2014 est.)
Guatemala
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.5%
male: 87.4%
female: 76.3% (2015)
Guinea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 30.4%
male: 38.1%
female: 22.8% (2015)
Guinea-Bissau
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.9%
male: 71.8%
female: 48.3% (2015)
Guyana
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015)
Haiti
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.7%
male: 65.3%
female: 58.3% (2016)
Honduras
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.2%
male: 87.1%
female: 87.3% (2016)
Hungary
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.1%
female: 99% (2015)
India
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.4%
male: 82.4%
female: 65.8% (2018)
Indonesia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 97.3%
female: 94% (2018)
Iran
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.5%
male: 90.4%
female: 80.8% (2016)
Iraq
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.1%
male: 56.2%
female: 44% (2018)
Israel
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.7%
female: 96.8% (2011)
Italy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.2%
male: 99.4%
female: 99% (2018)
Jamaica
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 88.7%
male: 84%
female: 93.1% (2015)
Jordan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.2%
male: 98.6%
female: 97.8% (2018)
Kazakhstan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015)
Kenya
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.5%
male: 85%
female: 78.2% (2018)
Korea, North
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2015)
Kuwait
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: 96.7%
female: 94.9% (2018)
Kyrgyzstan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.5% (2018)
Laos
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.7%
male: 90%
female: 79.4% (2015)
Latvia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.9%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.9% (2015)
Lebanon
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.1%
male: 96.9%
female: 93.3% (2018)
Lesotho
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.4%
male: 70.1%
female: 88.3% (2015)
Liberia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48.3%
male: 62.7%
female: 34.1% (2017)
Libya
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 96.7%
female: 85.6% (2015)
Lithuania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015)
Luxembourg
Macau
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.5%
male: 98.2%
female: 95% (2016)
Madagascar
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.8%
male: 77.3%
female: 72.4% (2018)
Malawi
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 62.1%
male: 69.8%
female: 55.2% (2015)
Malaysia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.7%
male: 96.3%
female: 91.1% (2016)
Maldives
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.7%
male: 97.3%
female: 98.1% (2016)
Mali
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 35.5%
male: 46.2%
female: 25.7% (2018)
Malta
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.5%
male: 93%
female: 96% (2018)
Marshall Islands
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.3%
male: 98.3%
female: 98.2% (2011)
Mauritania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 53.5%
male: 63.7%
female: 43.4% (2017)
Mauritius
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.3%
male: 93.4%
female: 89.4% (2018)
Mexico
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.4%
male: 95.8%
female: 94.6% (2018)
Moldova
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.1% (2015)
Mongolia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.2%
female: 98.6% (2018)
Montenegro
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.3% (2018)
Morocco
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.8%
male: 83.3%
female: 64.6% (2018)
Mozambique
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 60.7%
male: 72.6%
female: 50.3% (2017)
Namibia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.5%
male: 91.6%
female: 91.4% (2018)
Nepal
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 78.6%
female: 59.7% (2018)
New Caledonia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.9%
male: 97.3%
female: 96.5% (2015)
Nicaragua
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 82.6%
male: 82.4%
female: 82.8% (2015)
Niger
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 19.1%
male: 27.3%
female: 11% (2015)
Nigeria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 62%
male: 71.3%
female: 52.7% (2018)
North Macedonia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.8%
female: 96.8% (2015)
Oman
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 97%
female: 92.7% (2018)
Pakistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.1%
male: 71.1%
female: 46.5% (2015)
Palau
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.6%
male: 96.8%
female: 96.3% (2015)
Panama
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.4%
male: 96%
female: 94.9% (2018)
Papua New Guinea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 64.2%
male: 65.6%
female: 62.8% (2015)
Paraguay
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94%
male: 94.5%
female: 93.5% (2018)
Peru
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.4%
male: 97.1%
female: 91.7% (2018)
Philippines
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.2%
male: 98.1%
female: 98.2% (2015)
Poland
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.7% (2015)
Portugal
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: 97.4%
female: 95.1% (2018)
Puerto Rico
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.4%
male: 92.4%
female: 92.4% (2017)
Qatar
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.5%
male: 92.4%
female: 94.7% (2017)
Romania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.6% (2018)
Russia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.7% (2018)
Rwanda
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.2%
male: 77.6%
female: 69.4% (2018)
Samoa
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99%
female: 99.2% (2018)
San Marino
total population: 99.9%
male: 99.9%
Sao Tome and Principe
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.8%
male: 96.2%
female: 89.5% (2018)
Saudi Arabia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.3%
male: 97.1%
female: 92.7% (2017)
Senegal
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.9%
male: 64.8%
female: 39.8% (2017)
Serbia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.3%
male: 99.1%
female: 97.5% (2016)
Seychelles
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.9%
male: 95.4%
female: 96.4% (2018)
Sierra Leone
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic
total population: 43.2%
male: 51.6%
female: 39.8% (2018)
Singapore
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.3%
male: 98.9%
female: 95.9% (2018)
Slovenia
definition: NA
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.7% (2015)
Solomon Islands
South Africa
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87%
male: 87.7%
female: 86.5% (2017)
South Sudan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 34.5%
male: 40.3%
female: 28.9% (2018)
Spain
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.9%
female: 98% (2018)
Sri Lanka
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.9%
male: 93%
female: 91% (2017)
Sudan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 60.7%
male: 65.4%
female: 56.1% (2018)
Suriname
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.4%
male: 96.1%
female: 92.7% (2018)
Syria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.4%
male: 91.7%
female: 81% (2015)
Taiwan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.5%
male: 99.7%
female: 97.3% (2014)
Tajikistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015)
Tanzania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
total population: 77.9%
male: 83.2%
female: 73.1% (2015)
Thailand
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.9%
male: 94.7%
female: 91.2% (2015)
Timor-Leste
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68.1%
male: 71.9%
female: 64.2% (2018)
Togo
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 63.7%
male: 77.3%
female: 51.2% (2015)
Tonga
definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.4%
female: 99.5% (2015)
Trinidad and Tobago
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99.2%
female: 98.7% (2015)
Tunisia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 74.2% (2015)
Turkey
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.2%
male: 98.8%
female: 93.5% (2017)
Turkmenistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015)
Uganda
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.5%
male: 82.7%
female: 70.8% (2018)
Ukraine
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015)
United Arab Emirates
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 93.1%
female: 95.8% (2015)
Uruguay
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.7%
male: 98.4%
female: 99% (2018)
Uzbekistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2016)
Vanuatu
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.5%
male: 88.3%
female: 86.7% (2018)
Venezuela
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.1%
male: 97%
female: 97.2% (2016)
Vietnam
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 96.5%
female: 93.6% (2018)
West Bank
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.2%
male: 98.7%
female: 95.7% (2018)

note: estimates are for Gaza and the West Bank

World
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.3%
male: 89.8%
female: 82.8% (2016 est.) (2018)

note: more than three-quarters of the world's 750 million illiterate adults are found in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; of all the illiterate adults in the world, almost two-thirds are women (2016)

Yemen
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 70.1%
male: 85.1%
female: 55% (2015)
Zambia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 86.7%
male: 90.6%
female: 83.1% (2018)
Zimbabwe
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 86.5%
male: 88.5%
female: 84.6% (2015)