Literacy rate, adult female (% of females ages 15 and above) - Country Ranking

Definition: Adult literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15 and above who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement about their everyday life.

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 100.00 2008
2 Latvia 99.91 2011
3 Estonia 99.87 2011
4 Lithuania 99.83 2011
5 Cuba 99.80 2012
6 Azerbaijan 99.72 2014
7 Georgia 99.71 2013
8 Ukraine 99.70 2013
9 Armenia 99.69 2011
10 Slovenia 99.69 2013
11 Tajikistan 99.68 2013
12 Kazakhstan 99.68 2009
13 Russia 99.65 2010
14 Poland 99.63 2013
15 Turkmenistan 99.56 2013
16 Palau 99.55 2013
17 Belarus 99.49 2009
18 Tonga 99.43 2011
19 Antigua and Barbuda 99.42 2013
20 Uzbekistan 99.36 2013
21 Samoa 99.07 2011
22 Cayman Islands 99.02 2007
23 Kyrgyz Republic 98.98 2009
24 Hungary 98.96 2013
25 Italy 98.87 2013
26 Moldova 98.77 2013
27 Croatia 98.67 2011
28 Uruguay 98.64 2013
29 Trinidad and Tobago 98.54 2013
30 Mongolia 98.34 2010
31 Romania 98.21 2011
32 Cyprus 98.12 2011
33 Argentina 98.01 2013
34 Bulgaria 97.98 2011
35 Qatar 97.56 2014
36 Montenegro 97.50 2011
37 Costa Rica 97.50 2011
38 Spain 97.44 2013
39 Jordan 97.37 2012
40 Bosnia and Herzegovina 97.10 2013
41 Serbia 96.75 2011
42 Greece 96.55 2013
43 Chile 96.53 2011
44 Macedonia 96.51 2013
45 Thailand 96.43 2010
46 New Caledonia 96.24 2013
47 Albania 96.14 2012
48 Grenada 96.00 1970
49 Philippines 95.83 2008
50 Venezuela 95.03 2011
51 Malta 94.79 2011
52 Brunei 94.65 2011
53 Singapore 94.64 2013
54 Seychelles 94.45 2010
55 Kuwait 94.30 2013
56 Suriname 94.00 2010
57 Paraguay 93.73 2014
58 Macao SAR, China 93.73 2011
59 Colombia 93.67 2011
60 Panama 93.49 2010
61 Mexico 92.90 2013
62 Portugal 92.86 2011
63 China 92.71 2010
64 South Africa 92.59 2012
65 Puerto Rico 92.53 2010
66 Jamaica 92.47 2013
67 Ecuador 92.22 2013
68 Turkey 92.14 2013
69 Equatorial Guinea 92.10 2013
70 Bolivia 91.87 2012
71 Brazil 91.76 2013
72 Bahrain 91.61 2010
73 United Arab Emirates 91.47 2005
74 Vietnam 91.38 2009
75 Saudi Arabia 91.37 2013
76 Dominican Republic 91.25 2013
77 Malaysia 90.75 2010
78 Myanmar 90.70 2013
79 Peru 90.67 2012
80 Indonesia 90.07 2011
81 Sri Lanka 89.96 2010
82 Oman 88.93 2014
83 Israel 88.67 1983
84 Botswana 87.74 2013
85 Guyana 87.25 2009
86 Honduras 87.03 2014
87 Mauritius 86.66 2011
88 Lebanon 85.97 2007
89 Lesotho 84.96 2009
90 El Salvador 84.67 2013
91 Burundi 84.59 2008
92 Libya 84.35 2013
93 Vanuatu 82.53 2013
94 Swaziland 82.45 2010
95 Cabo Verde 80.50 2012
96 Zimbabwe 80.07 2011
97 Gabon 79.88 2012
98 Syrian Arab Republic 79.79 2013
99 Iran 78.42 2012
100 Namibia 78.35 2007
101 Nicaragua 77.92 2005
102 Tanzania 74.39 2012
103 Congo 72.88 2011
104 Iraq 72.71 2013
105 Guatemala 72.13 2013
106 Comoros 72.01 2013
107 Tunisia 71.73 2011
108 Belize 70.33 1991
109 Solomon Islands 69.00 1999
110 Egypt 67.18 2013
111 Kenya 66.86 2007
112 Sudan 66.40 2013
113 Cambodia 65.93 2009
114 Ghana 65.29 2010
115 Cameroon 64.80 2010
116 Rwanda 64.66 2012
117 Algeria 63.92 2006
118 Lao PDR 63.23 2005
119 Dem. Rep. Congo 62.92 2012
120 Eritrea 62.67 2013
121 Uganda 61.97 2012
122 Madagascar 61.64 2009
123 Papua New Guinea 61.10 2013
124 São Tomé and Principe 60.08 2008
125 Angola 59.67 2013
126 India 59.28 2011
127 Morocco 57.64 2011
128 Bangladesh 56.23 2013
129 Timor-Leste 52.96 2010
130 Yemen 51.82 2013
131 Zambia 51.79 2007
132 Malawi 51.25 2010
133 Nepal 48.84 2011
134 Togo 47.98 2011
135 Guinea-Bissau 45.37 2013
136 The Gambia 44.62 2013
137 Haiti 44.60 2006
138 Pakistan 43.07 2012
139 Nigeria 41.39 2008
140 Bhutan 38.68 2005
141 Mozambique 36.45 2009
142 Mauritania 35.35 2007
143 Sierra Leone 34.95 2013
144 Senegal 33.60 2013
145 Côte d'Ivoire 30.46 2012
146 Chad 29.13 2013
147 Ethiopia 28.92 2007
148 Liberia 27.03 2007
149 Mali 24.64 2011
150 Central African Republic 24.36 2010
151 Burkina Faso 21.58 2007
152 Benin 18.44 2006
153 Afghanistan 17.61 2011
154 Guinea 12.19 2010
155 Niger 8.94 2012

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Development Relevance: Literacy rate is an outcome indicator to evaluate educational attainment. This data can predict the quality of future labor force and can be used in ensuring policies for life skills for men and women. It can be also used as a proxy instrument to see the effectiveness of education system; a high literacy rate suggests the capacity of an education system to provide a large population with opportunities to acquire literacy skills. The accumulated achievement of education is fundamental for further intellectual growth and social and economic development, although it doesn't necessarily ensure the quality of education. Literate women implies that they can seek and use information for the betterment of the health, nutrition and education of their household members. Literate women are also empowered to play a meaningful role.

Limitations and Exceptions: In practice, literacy is difficult to measure. Estimating literacy rates requires census or survey measurements under controlled conditions. Many countries report the number of literate people from self-reported data. Some use educational attainment data as a proxy but apply different lengths of school attendance or levels of completion. Ant there is a trend among recent national and international surveys toward using a direct reading test of literacy skills. Because definitions and methods of data collection differ across countries, data should be used cautiously.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Literacy statistics for most countries cover the population ages 15 and older, but some include younger ages or are confined to age ranges that tend to inflate literacy rates. The youth literacy rate for ages 15-24 reflects recent progress in education. It measures the accumulated outcomes of primary education over the previous 10 years or so by indicating the proportion of the population who have passed through the primary education system and acquired basic literacy and numeracy skills. Generally, literacy also encompasses numeracy, the ability to make simple arithmetic calculations. Data on literacy are compiled by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics based on national censuses and household surveys and, for countries without recent literacy data, using the Global Age-Specific Literacy Projection Model (GALP). For detailed information, see www.uis.unesco.org.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual