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.
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.
This is what countries report. It's is bogus!!
This is what a country will report, come on you believe China's population
has a literacy of 91.6 %. Hundreds of millions of people live in the back country, working the mines and rice fields, completely oblivious to any city learning. Most ALL of these countries report false numbers fro one reason or another.
Does anyone here really believe Georgia has 100% literacy in that country.
vcon 4th January 2011
Dana 4th December 2010
Stop being so critical of this data, it's from the World Fact Book and it is correct in a sense. As stated in the article, literacy doesn't have a universal definition and if you study individual states and countries, especially industrialized ones, they often have a higher literacy rate reported for worldwide statistics than they do at home. That is because functional literacy is taken into account on a national basis. Just about anyone can read "See Spot Run" but not everyone can read an instruction manual or documents required for day to day life. In reporting internationally, if you can handle see spot run, you're literate.
Before criticizing data perhaps it would be best to understand its origins.
nashirkertosono 25th September 2010
TrueSalarian 9th August 2010
This website offers simplified data derived from the World Values Survey. For more detailed/accurate information go to www.worldvaluessurvey.org. If you are dissatisfied with this wesite's data, look around in there & you may find what your'e looking for. The WVS is more accurate than many other sources from which you would receive information. They actually do surveys & give contextual data, such as a comparison of literacy rate over a period of time.
Luvagoo 11th June 2010
I just wanted the Australian figures - I have France's from a good source and they sure as hell aren't 99%.
fish 20th May 2010
I don't believe that 10 countries could be beating Australia. Where did you get your figures from ? Or did you make them up?
Tianna 18th February 2010
I am doing a report on Poland and this site did not help at all.
B. Cooley 21st December 2009
These are not accurate, they can't be. In my State alone there is a 15% illiteracy rate as of just a few years ago, that's not even to compound the states around mine. The US does not have a 99% literacy.
Derek McLaren 5th May 2009
Try putting info on it not just the ranks im doing a project and this site did not do me much good so thanks for the Help
M. Saunders 11th January 2006
From below 80% in 1986 to 97% for the U.S. now is a totally false figure and consequently invalidates all other stats in this database!
Edria Murray Staff Editor 18th January 2005
Over fifty years ago the United nations included literacy as a basic human right along with the right to adequate food, health care, and housing. According to UNESCO global literacy rates have increased dramatically over the last 35 years. However even today UNESCO statistics indicate that there are still over 800 million illiterate adults worldwide.
Literacy is seldom universal across the whole population. In developing nations the literacy rate of males is significantly higher than that of females. To gain a balanced perspective when comparing countries, literacy definitions should be consulted as these vary between countries.
The very high literacy rates in industrialized countries are misleading, as many adults in these countries have low levels of literacy. The International Adult literacy survey (1998) of OECD countries concluded that 23% of adults had 'very poor' skills. And a further 27% had a 'weak' skills. Both of these groups are defined as having a ”'low level of literacy'