Literacy Rate By Country 2021

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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 is that the number of people at least 15 years old that can read and write is meager.

As a whole, the global literacy rate is 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 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 million adults worldwide that can’t read or write.

One of the lowest literacy rates in the world is Niger, where just over 19% of adults can read and write. More than one-quarter of the males in this nation are literate, while only 11% of females are literate. Chad followes, with a literacy rate of 22.3%

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. Thirty-one nations reported literacy rates of 99.0% or above. Four countries reported 100% literacy among their people:

Below is a table with each country's literacy rates. The United States is not listed, but the U.S. literacy rate is about 99%.

Literacy Rate By Country 2021

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Literacy Rate By Country 2021

Country Literacy Rate 2021 Population
Greenland100.00%56,877
Andorra100.00%77,355
North Korea100.00%25,887,041
Uzbekistan100.00%33,935,763
San Marino99.90%34,017
Latvia99.90%1,866,942
Estonia99.80%1,325,185
Lithuania99.80%2,689,862
Belarus99.80%9,442,862
Tajikistan99.80%9,749,627
Azerbaijan99.80%10,223,342
Cuba99.80%11,317,505
Kazakhstan99.80%18,994,962
Poland99.80%37,797,005
Ukraine99.80%43,466,819
Slovenia99.70%2,078,724
Armenia99.70%2,968,127
Turkmenistan99.70%6,117,924
Russia99.70%145,912,025
Barbados99.60%287,711
Kyrgyzstan99.60%6,628,356
Tonga99.40%106,760
Georgia99.40%3,979,765
Moldova99.40%4,024,019
Croatia99.30%4,081,651
Samoa99.10%200,149
Fiji99.10%902,906
Cyprus99.10%1,215,584
Hungary99.10%9,634,164
Antigua And Barbuda99.00%98,731
Trinidad And Tobago99.00%1,403,375
Czech Republic99.00%10,724,555
Argentina99.00%45,605,826
Cayman Islands98.90%66,497
Montenegro98.80%628,053
Romania98.80%19,127,774
Uruguay98.70%3,485,151
Grenada98.60%113,021
Bosnia And Herzegovina98.50%3,263,466
Taiwan98.50%23,855,010
Mongolia98.40%3,329,289
Spain98.40%46,745,216
Marshall Islands98.30%59,610
Serbia98.30%8,697,550
Jordan98.20%10,269,021
Philippines98.20%111,046,913
Albania98.10%2,872,933
Costa Rica97.90%5,139,052
Aruba97.80%107,204
North Macedonia97.80%2,082,658
Israel97.80%8,789,774
Maldives97.70%543,617
Greece97.70%10,370,744
Bahrain97.50%1,748,296
Singapore97.30%5,896,686
Brunei97.20%441,532
Palestine97.20%5,222,748
Venezuela97.10%28,704,954
New Caledonia96.90%288,218
China96.80%1,444,216,107
Palau96.60%18,169
Macau96.50%658,394
Chile96.40%19,212,361
Turkey96.20%85,042,738
Kuwait96.10%4,328,550
Seychelles95.90%98,908
Oman95.70%5,223,375
Indonesia95.70%276,361,783
Panama95.40%4,381,579
Mexico95.40%130,262,216
Equatorial Guinea95.30%1,449,896
Saudi Arabia95.30%35,340,683
Lebanon95.10%6,769,146
Colombia95.10%51,265,844
Vietnam95.00%98,168,833
Malta94.50%442,784
Suriname94.40%591,800
Peru94.40%33,359,418
Paraguay94.00%7,219,638
United Arab Emirates93.80%9,991,089
Dominican Republic93.80%10,953,703
Malaysia93.70%32,776,194
Qatar93.50%2,930,528
Brazil93.20%213,993,437
Thailand92.90%69,950,850
Sao Tome And Principe92.80%223,368
Bolivia92.50%11,832,940
Puerto Rico92.40%2,828,255
Namibia91.50%2,587,344
Mauritius91.30%1,273,433
Libya91.00%6,958,532
Jamaica88.70%2,973,463
Guyana88.50%790,326
Botswana88.50%2,397,241
El Salvador88.50%6,518,499
Eswatini88.40%1,172,362
Vanuatu87.50%314,464
Honduras87.20%10,062,991
South Africa87.00%60,041,994
Cape Verde86.80%561,898
Zimbabwe86.50%15,092,171
Syria86.40%18,275,702
Iran85.50%85,028,759
Gabon84.70%2,278,825
Laos84.70%7,379,358
Tunisia81.80%11,935,766
Guatemala81.50%18,249,860
Kenya81.50%54,985,698
Algeria81.40%44,616,624
Cambodia80.50%16,946,438
Lesotho79.40%2,159,079
Tanzania77.90%61,498,437
Cameroon77.10%27,224,265
Eritrea76.60%3,601,467
Ghana76.60%31,732,129
Uganda76.50%47,123,531
Myanmar75.60%54,806,012
Madagascar74.80%28,427,328
India74.40%1,393,409,038
Bangladesh73.90%166,303,498
Morocco73.80%37,344,795
Rwanda73.20%13,276,513
Egypt71.20%104,258,327
Angola71.10%33,933,610
Yemen70.10%30,490,640
Burundi68.40%12,255,433
Nepal67.90%29,674,920
Bhutan66.60%779,898
Papua New Guinea64.20%9,119,010
Togo63.70%8,478,250
Malawi62.10%19,647,684
Nigeria62.00%211,400,708
Haiti61.70%11,541,685
Mozambique60.70%32,163,047
Sudan60.70%44,909,353
Guinea Bissau59.90%2,015,494
Pakistan59.10%225,199,937
Comoros58.80%888,451
Mauritania53.50%4,775,119
Senegal51.90%17,196,301
Ethiopia51.80%117,876,227
Gambia50.80%2,486,945
Iraq50.10%41,179,350
Liberia48.30%5,180,203
Ivory Coast47.20%27,053,629
Sierra Leone43.20%8,141,343
Afghanistan43.00%39,835,428
Benin42.40%12,451,040
Burkina Faso41.20%21,497,096
Central African Republic37.40%4,919,981
Mali35.50%20,855,735
South Sudan34.50%11,381,378
Guinea30.40%13,497,244
Chad22.30%16,914,985
Niger19.10%25,130,817

Literacy Rate By Country 2021