Statistics on Literacy

  • Today, nearly 17% of the world’s adult population is still not literate; two thirds of them women, making gender equality even harder to achieve.
  • The scale of illiteracy among youth also represents an enormous challenge; an estimated 122 million youth globally are illiterate, of which young women represent 60.7%.
  • The 67.4 million children who are out of school are likely to encounter great difficulties in the future, as deficient or non-existent basic education is the root cause of illiteracy.
  • With some 775 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all thus remains elusive.

More on literacy at the UNESCO Institute of Statistics

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