Literacy Rate By Country 2020

If you live in a developed country, you probably started school at a very young age, where you learned to read and write. Unfortunately, not all nations have this luxury. In some countries, the literacy rate – that is, the number of people that are at least 15 years old that can read and write – is very low.

As a whole, the global literacy rate is quite high. The literacy rate for all males and females that are at least 15 years old is 86.3%. Males aged 15 and over have a literacy rate of 90%, while females lag behind at just 82.7%. Developed nations as a whole have a literacy rate of 99.2%.

Most of the illiterate adults live in South Asia, West Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Of all of the illiterate adults in the world, nearly two-thirds are female. In total, there are about 781 adults worldwide that can’t read or write.

One of the lowest literacy rates in the world is found in Niger, where just over 19% of adults can read and write. More than one-quarter of the males in this nation are literate, while just 11% of females are literate.

South Sudan is another nation with a very low literacy rate of just 26.8%. Nearly 35% of the male residents are literate, while just 19.2% of the nation’s female residents can read and write.

Guinea also has a low literacy rate of just 30.4%. Again, the gender discrepancy is observed, as over 38% of males are literate while less than 23% of females are literate.

Other nations with low literacy rates include:

The developed nations of the world have much higher literacy rates with smaller gaps – if any – between the genders. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the highest rate of literacy has been reported as 100%. There are several other nations that don’t fall far behind. Latvia is the second most literate nation with a literacy rate of 99.9%. Estonia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Poland, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Ukraine, and Georgia have literacy rates of 99.8%. Other nations with literacy rates of 99% or higher include:

Literacy Rate By Country 2020

Country Literacy Rate Population 2020
North Korea100.00%25,778,816
Latvia99.90%1,886,198
Ukraine99.80%43,733,762
Tajikistan99.80%9,537,645
Poland99.80%37,846,611
Lithuania99.80%2,722,289
Kazakhstan99.80%18,776,707
Azerbaijan99.80%10,139,177
Georgia99.80%3,989,167
Estonia99.80%1,326,535
Cuba99.80%11,326,616
Turkmenistan99.70%6,031,200
Slovenia99.70%2,078,938
Russia99.70%145,934,462
Armenia99.70%2,963,243
Belarus99.70%9,449,323
Uzbekistan99.60%33,469,203
Palau99.50%18,094
Kyrgyzstan99.50%6,524,195
Tonga99.40%105,695
Moldova99.40%4,033,963
Maldives99.30%540,544
Croatia99.30%4,105,267
Italy99.20%60,461,826
Hungary99.10%9,660,351
Cyprus99.10%1,207,359
Samoa99.00%198,414
Trinidad And Tobago99.00%1,399,488
Antigua And Barbuda99.00%97,929
Czech Republic99.00%10,708,981
Cayman Islands98.90%65,722
Romania98.80%19,237,691
Montenegro98.70%628,066
Uruguay98.50%3,473,730
Bosnia And Herzegovina98.50%3,280,819
Taiwan98.50%23,816,775
Mongolia98.40%3,278,290
Bulgaria98.40%6,948,445
Spain98.10%46,754,778
Serbia98.10%8,737,371
Argentina98.10%45,195,774
Israel97.80%8,655,535
Costa Rica97.80%5,094,118
Greece97.70%10,423,054
Albania97.60%2,877,797
Aruba97.50%106,766
Chile97.50%19,116,201
Qatar97.30%2,881,053
New Caledonia96.90%285,498
Singapore96.80%5,850,342
Thailand96.70%69,799,978
Palestine96.50%5,101,414
China96.40%1,439,323,776
Venezuela96.30%28,435,940
Philippines96.30%109,581,078
Kuwait96.30%4,270,571
Macau96.20%649,335
Brunei96.00%437,479
Bolivia95.70%11,673,021
Portugal95.70%10,196,709
Bahrain95.70%1,701,575
Suriname95.60%586,632
Jordan95.40%10,203,134
Equatorial Guinea95.30%1,402,985
Mexico95.10%128,932,753
Turkey95.00%84,339,067
Panama95.00%4,314,767
Saudi Arabia94.70%34,813,871
Colombia94.70%50,882,891
Malaysia94.60%32,365,999
Vietnam94.50%97,338,579
Peru94.50%32,971,854
Ecuador94.50%17,643,054
Malta94.40%441,543
South Africa94.30%59,308,690
Paraguay93.90%7,132,538
Lebanon93.90%6,825,445
Indonesia93.90%273,523,615
United Arab Emirates93.80%9,890,402
Puerto Rico93.30%2,860,853
Myanmar93.10%54,409,800
Brazil92.60%212,559,417
Sri Lanka92.60%21,413,249
Seychelles91.80%98,347
Dominican Republic91.80%10,847,910
Oman91.10%5,106,626
Libya91.00%6,871,292
Mauritius90.60%1,271,768
Jamaica88.70%2,961,167
Botswana88.50%2,351,627
Honduras88.50%9,904,607
Guyana88.50%786,552
El Salvador88.00%6,486,205
Cape Verde87.60%555,987
Iran86.80%83,992,949
Zimbabwe86.50%14,862,924
Syria86.40%17,500,658
Burundi85.60%11,890,784
Vanuatu85.20%307,145
Solomon Islands84.10%686,884
Gabon83.20%2,225,734
Nicaragua82.80%6,624,554
Namibia81.90%2,540,905
Tunisia81.80%11,818,619
Guatemala81.50%17,915,568
Algeria80.20%43,851,044
Laos79.90%7,275,560
Iraq79.70%40,222,493
Lesotho79.40%2,142,249
Republic Of The Congo79.30%5,518,087
Uganda78.40%45,741,007
Kenya78.00%53,771,296
Comoros77.80%869,601
Cambodia77.20%16,718,965
Ghana76.60%31,072,940
Sudan75.90%43,849,260
Cameroon75.00%26,545,863
Egypt73.80%102,334,404
Eritrea73.80%3,546,421
India71.20%1,380,004,385
Angola71.10%32,866,272
Tanzania70.60%59,734,218
Rwanda70.50%12,952,218
Yemen70.10%29,825,964
Morocco68.50%36,910,560
Timor Leste67.50%1,318,445
Togo66.50%8,278,724
Malawi65.80%19,129,952
Bhutan64.90%771,608
Madagascar64.70%27,691,018
Papua New Guinea64.20%8,947,024
Nepal63.90%29,136,808
Dr Congo63.80%89,561,403
Zambia63.40%18,383,955
Bangladesh61.50%164,689,383
Haiti60.70%11,402,528
Guinea Bissau59.90%1,968,001
Nigeria59.60%206,139,589
Mozambique58.80%31,255,435
Pakistan57.90%220,892,340
Senegal57.70%16,743,927
Gambia55.50%2,416,668
Mauritania52.10%4,649,658
Ethiopia49.10%114,963,588
Sierra Leone48.10%7,976,983
Liberia47.60%5,057,681
Ivory Coast43.10%26,378,274
Chad40.20%16,425,864
Mali38.70%20,250,833
Benin38.40%12,123,200
Afghanistan38.20%38,928,346
Central African Republic36.80%4,829,767
Burkina Faso36.00%20,903,273
Guinea30.40%13,132,795
South Sudan27.00%11,193,725
Niger19.10%24,206,644