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Last update: Feb 2011



Youth and adult literacy rates are the test of an educational system.  Basic reading, writing and numeracy skills are essential to individual well-being and societal development.  Comparing adult literacy rates to youth literacy rates shows some improvement over time; young people are more likely to be able to read than adults.  Regional and gender differences continue, however.  Literacy is lowest in least developed countries and is higher for males than females.


To access Literacy Statistical Table please click here


United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, EFA Monitoring Report 2010: Reaching the marginalized, UNESCO, Paris, 2010.


UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2011: Adolescence – An Age of Opportunity , UNICEF, New York, 2011.