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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 (2015 est.)
total population: 38.2%
male: 52%
female: 24.2% (2015 est.)
Albania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.6%
male: 98.4%
female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
Algeria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 80.2%
male: 87.2%
female: 73.1% (2015 est.)
Andorra
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2016 est.)
Angola
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 71.1%
male: 82%
female: 60.7% (2015 est.)
Antigua and Barbuda
definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling (2012 est.)
total population: 99%
male: 98.4%
female: 99.4% (2012 est.)
Argentina
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.1%
female: 99.1% (2016 est.)
Armenia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
Aruba
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.5%
male: 97.5%
female: 97.5% (2015 est.)
Azerbaijan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.7% (2016 est.)
Bahrain
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.7%
male: 96.9%
female: 93.5% (2015 est.)
Bangladesh
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 72.9%
male: 75.7%
female: 70.1% (2017 est.)
Barbados
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2014 est.)
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.6%
female: 99.6% (2014)
Belarus
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
Benin
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 38.4%
male: 49.9%
female: 27.3% (2015 est.)
Bhutan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 64.9%
male: 73.1%
female: 55% (2015 est.)
Bolivia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.5%
female: 88.6% (2015 est.)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 98.5%
male: 99.5%
female: 97.5% (2015 est.)
Botswana
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 88.5%
male: 88%
female: 88.9% (2015 est.)
Brazil
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 92%
male: 91.7%
female: 92.3% (2015 est.)
Brunei
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 96%
male: 97.5%
female: 94.5% (2015 est.)
Bulgaria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.7%
female: 98.1% (2015 est.)
Burkina Faso
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 36%
male: 43%
female: 29.3% (2015 est.)
Burma
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 75.6%
male: 80%
female: 71.8% (2016 est.)
Burundi
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 85.6%
male: 88.2%
female: 83.1% (2015 est.)
Cabo Verde
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 86.8%
male: 91.7%
female: 82% (2015 est.)
Cambodia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 80.5%
male: 86.5%
female: 75% (2015 est.)
Cameroon
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015 est.)
Cayman Islands
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school (2007 est.)
total population: 98.9%
male: 98.7%
female: 99% (2007 est.)
Central African Republic
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 36.8%
male: 50.7%
female: 24.4% (2015 est.)
Chad
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic (2016 est.)
total population: 22.3%
male: 31.3%
female: 14% (2016 est.)
Chile
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 96.9%
male: 97%
female: 96.7% (2015 est.)
China
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 96.4%
male: 98.2%
female: 94.5% (2015 est.)
Colombia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 94.7%
male: 94.4%
female: 94.9% (2016 est.)
Comoros
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 77.8%
male: 81.8%
female: 73.7% (2015 est.)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba (2016 est.)
total population: 77%
male: 88.5%
female: 66.5% (2016 est.)
Congo, Republic of the
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 79.3%
male: 86.4%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)
Costa Rica
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.8%
male: 97.7%
female: 97.8% (2015 est.)
Cote d'Ivoire
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 43.1%
male: 53.1%
female: 32.5% (2015 est.)
Croatia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.7%
female: 98.9% (2015 est.)
Cuba
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
Cyprus
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.7% (2015 est.)
Czechia
definition: NA (2011 est.)
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2011 est.)
Dominican Republic
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 93.8%
male: 93.8%
female: 93.8% (2016 est.)
Ecuador
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 94.4%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.3% (2016 est.)
Egypt
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 80.8%
male: 86.5%
female: 75% (2017 est.)
El Salvador
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 88.1%
male: 90.3%
female: 86.3% (2016 est.)
Equatorial Guinea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.3%
male: 97.4%
female: 93% (2015 est.)
Eritrea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 73.8%
male: 82.4%
female: 65.5% (2015 est.)
Estonia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
Eswatini
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 87.5%
male: 87.4%
female: 87.5% (2015 est.)
Ethiopia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 49.1%
male: 57.2%
female: 41.1% (2015 est.)
Gabon
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 83.2%
male: 85.3%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
Gambia, The
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 55.5%
male: 63.9%
female: 47.6% (2015 est.)
Gaza Strip
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 96.9%
male: 98.6%
female: 95.2% (2016 est.)

note: estimates are for Gaza and the West Bank

Georgia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
Ghana
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 76.6%
male: 82%
female: 71.4% (2015 est.)
Greece
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.7%
male: 98.5%
female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
Greenland
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2015 est.)
Grenada
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2014 est.)
total population: 98.6%
male: 98.6%
female: 98.6% (2014 est.)
Guatemala
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 81.5%
male: 87.4%
female: 76.3% (2015 est.)
Guinea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 30.4%
male: 38.1%
female: 22.8% (2015 est.)
Guinea-Bissau
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 59.9%
male: 71.8%
female: 48.3% (2015 est.)
Guyana
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school (2015 est.)
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015 est.)
Haiti
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 60.7%
male: 64.3%
female: 57.3% (2015 est.)
Honduras
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 89%
male: 89%
female: 88.9% (2016 est.)
Hungary
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.1%
female: 99% (2015 est.)
India
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 71.2%
male: 81.3%
female: 60.6% (2015 est.)
Indonesia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 95.4%
male: 97.2%
female: 93.6% (2016 est.)
Iran
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 85.5%
male: 90.4%
female: 80.8% (2016 est.)
Iraq
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 79.7%
male: 85.7%
female: 73.7% (2015 est.)
Israel
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.7%
female: 96.8% (2011 est.)
Italy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.2%
male: 99.4%
female: 99% (2015 est.)
Jamaica
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school (2015 est.)
total population: 88.7%
male: 84%
female: 93.1% (2015 est.)
Jordan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.4%
male: 97.7%
female: 92.9% (2015 est.)
Kazakhstan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
Kenya
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 78%
male: 81.1%
female: 74.9% (2015 est.)
Korea, North
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2015 est.)
Kuwait
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 96%
male: 96.7%
female: 94.8% (2017 est.)
Kyrgyzstan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.5%
male: 99.6%
female: 99.4% (2015 est.)
Laos
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 84.7%
male: 90%
female: 79.4% (2015 est.)
Latvia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.9%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.9% (2015 est.)
Lebanon
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 93.9%
male: 96%
female: 91.8% (2015 est.)
Lesotho
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 79.4%
male: 70.1%
female: 88.3% (2015 est.)
Liberia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 47.6%
male: 62.4%
female: 32.8% (2015 est.)
Libya
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 91%
male: 96.7%
female: 85.6% (2015 est.)
Lithuania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
Macau
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 96.5%
male: 98.2%
female: 95% (2016 est.)
Madagascar
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 64.7%
male: 66.7%
female: 62.6% (2015 est.)
Malawi
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 62.1%
male: 69.8%
female: 55.2% (2015 est.)
Malaysia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.6%
male: 96.2%
female: 93.2% (2015 est.)
Maldives
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.8%
female: 98.8% (2015 est.)
Mali
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 33.1%
male: 45.1%
female: 22.2% (2015 est.)
Malta
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.4%
male: 93.1%
female: 95.8% (2015 est.)
Marshall Islands
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)
total population: 98.3%
male: 98.3%
female: 98.2% (2011 est.)
Mauritania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 52.1%
male: 62.6%
female: 41.6% (2015 est.)
Mauritius
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 93.2%
male: 95.4%
female: 91% (2016 est.)
Mexico
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 94.9%
male: 95.8%
female: 94% (2016 est.)
Moldova
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.1% (2015 est.)
Mongolia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.2%
female: 98.6% (2015 est.)
Montenegro
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 98.7%
male: 99.5%
female: 98% (2015 est.)
Morocco
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 68.5%
male: 78.6%
female: 58.8% (2015 est.)
Mozambique
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 56%
male: 70.8%
female: 43.1% (2015 est.)
Namibia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 81.9%
male: 79.2%
female: 84.5% (2015 est.)
Nepal
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 63.9%
male: 76.4%
female: 53.1% (2015 est.)
New Caledonia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 96.9%
male: 97.3%
female: 96.5% (2015 est.)
Nicaragua
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 82.8%
male: 82.4%
female: 83.2% (2015 est.)
Niger
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 19.1%
male: 27.3%
female: 11% (2015 est.)
Nigeria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 59.6%
male: 69.2%
female: 49.7% (2015 est.)
North Macedonia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.8%
female: 96.8% (2015 est.)
Oman
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 96.1%
male: 97.4%
female: 93.2% (2017 est.)
Pakistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 57.9%
male: 69.5%
female: 45.8% (2015 est.)
Palau
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 96.6%
male: 96.8%
female: 96.3% (2015 est.)
Panama
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95%
male: 95.7%
female: 94.4% (2015 est.)
Papua New Guinea
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 64.2%
male: 65.6%
female: 62.8% (2015 est.)
Paraguay
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 94.7%
male: 95.5%
female: 93.8% (2016 est.)
Peru
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 94.2%
male: 97.2%
female: 91.2% (2016 est.)
Philippines
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 96.3%
male: 95.8%
female: 96.8% (2015 est.)
Poland
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
Portugal
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.7%
male: 97.1%
female: 94.4% (2015 est.)
Puerto Rico
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 93.3%
male: 92.8%
female: 93.8% (2015 est.)
Qatar
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.3%
male: 97.4%
female: 96.8% (2015 est.)
Romania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.5% (2015 est.)
Russia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
Rwanda
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 70.5%
male: 73.2%
female: 68% (2015 est.)
Samoa
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.8% (2015 est.)
Sao Tome and Principe
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 74.9%
male: 81.8%
female: 68.4% (2015 est.)
Saudi Arabia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.7%
male: 97%
female: 91.1% (2015 est.)
Senegal
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 51.9%
male: 64.8%
female: 39.8% (2017 est.)
Serbia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2% (2016 est.)
Seychelles
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2012 est.)
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2012 est.)
Sierra Leone
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic (2015 est.)
total population: 48.1%
male: 58.7%
female: 37.7% (2015 est.)
Singapore
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 97%
male: 98.7%
female: 95.4% (2016 est.)
Slovenia
definition: NA (2015 est.)
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
Solomon Islands
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2009 est.)
total population: 84.1%
male: 88.9%
female: 79.2% (2009 est.)
South Africa
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.4%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.4% (2015 est.)
South Sudan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2009 est.)
total population: 27%
male: 40%
female: 16% (2009 est.)
Spain
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 98.3%
male: 98.8%
female: 97.7% (2016 est.)
Sri Lanka
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 91.9%
male: 93%
female: 91% (2017 est.)
Sudan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 75.9%
male: 83.3%
female: 68.6% (2015 est.)
Suriname
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 95.6%
male: 96.1%
female: 95% (2015 est.)
Syria
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 86.4%
male: 91.7%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
Taiwan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2014 est.)
total population: 98.5%
male: 99.7%
female: 97.3% (2014 est.)
Tajikistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
Tanzania
definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic (2015 est.)
total population: 77.9%
male: 83.2%
female: 73.1% (2015 est.)
Thailand
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 92.9%
male: 94.7%
female: 91.2% (2015 est.)
Timor-Leste
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 67.5%
male: 71.5%
female: 63.4% (2015 est.)
Togo
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 63.7%
male: 77.3%
female: 51.2% (2015 est.)
Tonga
definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English (2015 est.)
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.3%
female: 99.4% (2015 est.)
Trinidad and Tobago
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99%
male: 99.2%
female: 98.7% (2015 est.)
Tunisia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 81.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 74.2% (2015 est.)
Turkey
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 96.2%
male: 98.8%
female: 93.6% (2016 est.)
Turkmenistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
Uganda
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 78.4%
male: 85.3%
female: 71.5% (2015 est.)
Ukraine
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
United Arab Emirates
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 93.8%
male: 93.1%
female: 95.8% (2015 est.)
Uruguay
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 98.6%
male: 98.2%
female: 99% (2017 est.)
Uzbekistan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2016 est.)
Vanuatu
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 85.2%
male: 86.6%
female: 83.8% (2015 est.)
Venezuela
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 97.1%
male: 97%
female: 97.2% (2016 est.)
Vietnam
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.5%
male: 96.3%
female: 92.8% (2015 est.)
West Bank
definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
total population: 96.9%
male: 98.6%
female: 95.2% (2016 est.)

note: estimates are for Gaza and the West Bank

World
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.2%
male: 89.8%
female: 82.6% (2016 est.)

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 (2015 est.)
total population: 70.1%
male: 85.1%
female: 55% (2015 est.)
Zambia
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English (2015 est.)
total population: 63.4%
male: 70.9%
female: 56% (2015 est.)
Zimbabwe
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English (2015 est.)
total population: 86.5%
male: 88.5%
female: 84.6% (2015 est.)