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Education > Literacy > Total population: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the 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 our source. Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons.

CONTENTS

# COUNTRY AMOUNT DATE GRAPH HISTORY
=1 Holy See (Vatican City) 100% 2011
=1 Norway 100% 2008
=1 Finland 100% 2000
=1 Liechtenstein 100% 2008
=1 Luxembourg 100% 2000
=1 Andorra 100% 2008
=1 Georgia 100% 2004
=1 Greenland 100% 2001
=9 Estonia 99.8% 2003
=9 Latvia 99.8% 2003
=9 Poland 99.8% 2003
=12 Barbados 99.7% 2002
=12 Slovenia 99.7% 2008
=12 Samoa 99.7% 2003
=12 Ukraine 99.7% 2003
=16 Slovakia 99.6% 2004
=16 Lithuania 99.6% 2003
=16 Russia 99.6% 2003
=16 Belarus 99.6% 2003
20 Kazakhstan 99.5% 1999
=21 Tajikistan 99.4% 2003
=21 Hungary 99.4% 2003
23 Uzbekistan 99.3% 2003
=24 Moldova 99.1% 2005
=24 Mongolia 99.1% 2003
=26 Canada 99% 2003
=26 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 99% 1982
=26 Netherlands 99% 2003
=26 Monaco 99% 2003
=26 France 99% 2003
=26 Ireland 99% 2003
=26 Australia 99% 2003
=26 Denmark 99% 2003
=26 United Kingdom 99% 2003
=26 New Zealand 99% 2003
=26 Guam 99% 1990
=26 Czech Republic 99% 2003
=26 United States 99% 2003
=26 Sweden 99% 2003
=26 Japan 99% 2002
=26 Belgium 99% 2003
=26 Switzerland 99% 2003
=26 Iceland 99% 2003
=26 Germany 99% 2003
=26 North Korea 99% 2011
Group of 7 countries (G7) average (profile) 98.93% 2003
46 Tonga 98.9% 1999
=47 Turkmenistan 98.8% 1999
=47 Azerbaijan 98.8% 2003
=47 Guyana 98.8% 2003
50 Kyrgyzstan 98.7% 1999
=51 Italy 98.6% 2003
=51 Trinidad and Tobago 98.6% 2003
=51 Armenia 98.6% 2003
=51 Bulgaria 98.6% 2003
55 Croatia 98.5% 2003
High income OECD countries average (profile) 98.45% 2003
European Union average (profile) 98.43% 2003
56 Romania 98.4% 2003
57 South Korea 98.1% 2003
=58 Turks and Caicos Islands 98% 1970
=58 Bermuda 98% 2005
=58 Cayman Islands 98% 1970
=58 Austria 98% 2008
=58 French Polynesia 98% 1977
=58 Uruguay 98% 2003
64 Spain 97.9% 2003
=65 Saint Kitts and Nevis 97.8% 2003
=65 British Virgin Islands 97.8% 1991
NATO countries average (profile) 97.7% 2003
67 Martinique 97.7% 2003
68 Cyprus 97.6% 2003
69 Greece 97.5% 2003
70 Aruba 97.3% 2000
=71 Israel 97.1% 2004
=71 Argentina 97.1% 2003
=73 American Samoa 97% 1980
=73 Cuba 97% 2003
=73 Northern Mariana Islands 97% 1980
=73 Montserrat 97% 1970
=77 Bosnia and Herzegovina 96.7% 2000
=77 Netherlands Antilles 96.7% 2003
79 Serbia and Montenegro 96.4% 2003
=80 Chile 96.2% 2003
=80 New Caledonia 96.2% 1996
82 Taiwan 96.1% 2003
=83 Costa Rica 96% 2003
=83 Thailand 96% 2003
=83 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 96% 1970
=83 San Marino 96% 2011
=83 Grenada 96% 2003
88 Philippines 95.9% 2003
Non-religious countries average (profile) 95.75% 2003
89 The Bahamas 95.6% 2003
=90 Anguilla 95% 1984
=90 Niue 95% 2008
=90 Cook Islands 95% 2010
93 Macau 94.5% 2003
=94 Belize 94.1% 2003
=94 Puerto Rico 94.1% 2002
=96 Dominica 94% 2003
=96 Hong Kong 94% 2003
=96 Paraguay 94% 2003
=96 Vietnam 94% 2003
100 Maldives 93.8% 2006
=101 Fiji 93.7% 2003
=101 Marshall Islands 93.7% 1999
103 Venezuela 93.4% 2003
=104 Portugal 93.3% 2003
=104 Kuwait 93.3% 2005
106 Singapore 93.2% 2003
107 Peru 92.9% 2007
108 Malta 92.8% 2005
109 Panama 92.6% 2003
110 Ecuador 92.5% 2003
=111 Gaza Strip 92.4% 2004
=111 West Bank 92.4% 2004
113 Sri Lanka 92.3% 2003
114 Palau 92% 1980
115 Seychelles 91.9% 2003
116 Brunei 91.8% 2003
117 China 91.6% 2007
Emerging markets average (profile) 91.07% 2003
118 Zimbabwe 90.7% 2003
=119 Indonesia 90.4% 2004
=119 Colombia 90.4% 2005
121 Saint Lucia 90.1% 2001
=122 Jordan 89.9% 2003
=122 Burma 89.9% 2006
124 Suriname 89.6% 2004
Heavily indebted countries average (profile) 89.51% 2003
125 Bahrain 89.1% 2003
Former Spanish colonies average (profile) 89.02% 2003
=126 Qatar 89% 2004
=126 Federated States of Micronesia 89% 1980
=128 Malaysia 88.9% 2003
=128 Reunion 88.9% 2003
130 Brazil 88.6% 2004
131 Jamaica 87.9% 2003
=132 Turkey 87.4% 2004
=132 Lebanon 87.4% 2003
134 Bolivia 87.2% 2003
135 Albania 86.5% 2003
136 South Africa 86.4% 2003
137 Mexico 86.1% 2005
138 Antigua and Barbuda 85.8% 2003
139 Equatorial Guinea 85.7% 2003
140 Mauritius 85.6% 2003
141 Kenya 85.1% 2003
142 Sao Tome and Principe 84.9% 2001
143 Lesotho 84.8% 2003
144 Dominican Republic 84.7% 2003
145 Namibia 84% 2003
146 Congo, Republic of the 83.8% 2003
147 Libya 82.6% 2003
148 Swaziland 81.6% 2003
Former British colonies average (profile) 81.47% 2003
149 Oman 81.4% 2003
150 Botswana 81.2% 2003
151 El Salvador 81.1% 2007
152 Zambia 80.6% 2003
153 Syria 79.6% 2004
154 Iran 79.4% 2003
155 Cameroon 79% 2003
156 Saudi Arabia 78.8% 2003
157 Tanzania 78.2% 2003
158 United Arab Emirates 77.9% 2003
159 Cape Verde 76.6% 2003
160 Honduras 76.2% 2003
OPEC countries average (profile) 75.65% 2003
Middle Eastern and North Africa average (profile) 74.94% 2003
161 Ghana 74.8% 2003
162 Tunisia 74.3% 2004
163 Vanuatu 74% 1999
164 Cambodia 73.6% 2004
165 Laos 73% 2005
166 Egypt 71.4% 2005
167 Guatemala 70.6% 2003
168 Rwanda 70.4% 2003
169 Algeria 70% 2003
170 Uganda 69.9% 2003
171 Madagascar 68.9% 2003
172 Nigeria 68% 2003
Muslim countries average (profile) 67.94% 2003
173 Djibouti 67.9% 2003
174 Nicaragua 67.5% 2003
175 Angola 67.4% 2001
176 Papua New Guinea 66% 2003
177 Democratic Republic of the Congo 65.5% 2003
178 Gabon 63.2% 1995
Sub-Saharan Africa average (profile) 63.06% 2003
179 Malawi 62.7% 2003
180 Sudan 61.1% 2003
181 Togo 60.9% 2003
182 India 59.5% 2003
=183 East Timor 58.6% 2002
=183 Eritrea 58.6% 2003
185 Liberia 57.5% 2003
Former French colonies average (profile) 56.56% 2003
186 Comoros 56.5% 2003
failed states average (profile) 53.52% 2003
187 Haiti 52.9% 2003
188 Morocco 52.3% 2004
189 Burundi 51.6% 2003
190 Central African Republic 51% 2003
191 Cote d'Ivoire 50.9% 2003
192 Yemen 50.2% 2003
193 Wallis and Futuna 50% 1969
194 Pakistan 49.9% 2005
South Asia average (profile) 48.83% 2003
195 Mozambique 47.8% 2003
196 Chad 47.5% 2003
197 Bhutan 47% 2003
198 Mali 46.4% 2003
199 Nepal 45.2% 2003
200 Bangladesh 43.1% 2003
201 Ethiopia 42.7% 2003
202 Guinea-Bissau 42.4% 2003
203 Mauritania 41.7% 2003
204 Iraq 40.4% 2003
205 Senegal 40.2% 2003
206 The Gambia 40.1% 2003
207 Somalia 37.8% 2001
208 Sierra Leone 35.1% 2004
209 Benin 34.7% 2002
210 Guinea 29.5% 2003
211 Niger 28.7% 2005
212 Afghanistan 28.1% 2000
213 Burkina Faso 21.8% 2003

Citation

"Countries Compared by Education > Literacy > Total population. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Education/Literacy/Total-population

Education > Literacy > Total population: Countries Compared Map

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Interesting observations about Education > Literacy > Total population

All of the top 4 countries by literacy > total population are Christian.
All of the top 2 countries by literacy > total population are Cold countries'.
All of the top 3 countries by literacy > total population are European.
All of the top 2 countries by literacy > total population are Tourist destination.
All of the top 2 countries by literacy > total population are Landlocked.
All of the top 2 countries by literacy > total population are Catholic.
Finland has ranked in the top 2 for literacy > total population since 1980.
Bermuda has ranked in the top 3 for literacy > total population since 1970.
Barbados has ranked in the top 3 for literacy > total population since 1995.
Japan has ranked in the top 4 for literacy > total population since 1995.

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