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: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (http://uis.unesco.org/)

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 100.00 2008
2 Uzbekistan 99.98 2016
3 Ukraine 99.96 2012
4 Estonia 99.91 2011
5 Latvia 99.91 2011
6 San Marino 99.90 2018
7 Lithuania 99.83 2011
8 Cuba 99.80 2012
9 Kazakhstan 99.74 2010
10 Russia 99.73 2018
11 Belarus 99.73 2018
12 Azerbaijan 99.72 2017
13 Tajikistan 99.70 2014
14 Armenia 99.68 2017
15 Turkmenistan 99.60 2014
15 Barbados 99.60 2014
15 Slovenia 99.60 2014
18 Kyrgyz Republic 99.50 2018
19 Tonga 99.48 2018
20 Antigua and Barbuda 99.42 2015
21 Georgia 99.29 2017
22 Samoa 99.25 2018
23 Moldova 99.14 2014
24 Hungary 99.10 2014
25 Fiji 99.09 2017
26 Argentina 99.06 2018
27 Cayman Islands 99.02 2007
28 Uruguay 99.01 2018
29 Italy 98.97 2018
30 Croatia 98.67 2011
31 Mongolia 98.65 2018
32 Grenada 98.60 2014
33 Romania 98.60 2018
34 Trinidad and Tobago 98.30 2010
35 Montenegro 98.27 2018
36 Poland 98.25 2008
37 Philippines 98.24 2015
38 Cyprus 98.12 2011
39 Bulgaria 97.98 2011
40 Spain 97.97 2018
41 Costa Rica 97.92 2018
42 Jordan 97.83 2018
43 Albania 97.76 2018
44 Serbia 97.55 2018
45 New Caledonia 97.50 2014
46 Venezuela 97.21 2016
47 North Macedonia 96.70 2014
48 Greece 96.50 2011
49 Seychelles 96.35 2018
50 Palau 96.34 2015
51 Chile 96.33 2017
52 Brunei 96.30 2018
53 Malta 95.99 2018
54 Singapore 95.92 2018
55 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 95.50 1970
56 Colombia 95.32 2018
57 China 95.16 2018
58 Portugal 95.07 2018
59 Macao SAR, China 95.03 2016
60 Bahrain 94.95 2018
61 Bosnia and Herzegovina 94.91 2013
62 Kuwait 94.91 2018
63 Panama 94.88 2018
64 Qatar 94.71 2017
65 Mexico 94.61 2018
66 Indonesia 93.99 2018
67 Dominican Republic 93.76 2016
68 Vietnam 93.60 2018
69 Paraguay 93.53 2018
70 Turkey 93.50 2017
71 Brazil 93.43 2018
72 Lebanon 93.31 2018
73 Suriname 92.71 2018
74 Saudi Arabia 92.71 2017
75 Jamaica 92.70 2014
76 Oman 92.69 2018
77 Equatorial Guinea 92.40 2014
78 Puerto Rico 92.39 2017
79 Ecuador 92.09 2017
80 Peru 91.70 2018
81 United Arab Emirates 91.47 2005
82 Thailand 91.19 2015
83 Malaysia 91.07 2016
84 Sri Lanka 90.97 2017
85 São Tomé and Principe 89.52 2018
86 Mauritius 89.37 2018
87 Botswana 88.70 2014
88 Israel 88.67 1983
89 Bolivia 88.58 2015
90 Eswatini 88.54 2018
91 Zimbabwe 88.28 2014
92 Honduras 87.27 2018
93 Vanuatu 86.71 2018
94 El Salvador 86.67 2017
95 South Africa 86.46 2017
96 Guyana 85.03 2014
97 Lesotho 84.93 2014
98 Gabon 83.42 2018
99 Zambia 83.08 2018
100 Nicaragua 82.78 2015
101 Cabo Verde 82.04 2015
102 Iran 80.79 2016
103 Lao PDR 79.39 2015
104 Kenya 78.19 2018
105 Libya 77.80 2004
106 Guatemala 76.37 2014
107 Algeria 75.32 2018
108 Cambodia 75.03 2015
109 Congo 74.62 2018
110 Ghana 74.47 2018
111 Syrian Arab Republic 73.63 2004
112 Tanzania 73.09 2015
113 Madagascar 72.38 2018
114 Tunisia 72.22 2014
115 Myanmar 71.85 2016
116 Cameroon 71.59 2018
117 Bangladesh 71.18 2018
118 Uganda 70.84 2018
119 Belize 70.33 1991
120 Rwanda 69.39 2018
121 Solomon Islands 69.00 2009
122 Eritrea 68.95 2018
123 Dem. Rep. Congo 66.50 2016
124 India 65.79 2018
125 Egypt 65.51 2017
126 Morocco 64.59 2018
127 Timor-Leste 64.21 2018
128 Burundi 61.22 2017
129 Nepal 59.72 2018
130 Haiti 58.30 2016
131 Papua New Guinea 57.90 2010
132 Bhutan 57.08 2017
133 Sudan 56.06 2018
134 Malawi 55.20 2015
135 Angola 53.41 2014
136 Comoros 52.96 2018
137 Nigeria 52.66 2018
138 Togo 51.24 2015
139 Mozambique 50.30 2017
140 Pakistan 46.47 2017
141 Ethiopia 44.42 2017
142 Iraq 44.01 2018
143 Mauritania 43.35 2017
144 The Gambia 41.58 2015
145 Côte d'Ivoire 40.50 2018
146 Senegal 39.80 2017
147 Yemen 35.00 2004
148 Sierra Leone 34.85 2018
149 Liberia 34.09 2017
150 Burkina Faso 32.69 2018
151 Benin 31.07 2018
152 Guinea-Bissau 30.77 2014
153 Afghanistan 29.81 2018
154 Central African Republic 25.76 2018
155 Mali 25.74 2018
156 Niger 22.55 2012
157 Guinea 21.96 2014
158 Chad 13.96 2016
159 Somalia 3.69 1972

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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.

Other Notes: Data retrieved via API in March 2019. For detailed information on the observation level (e.g. National Estimation, UIS Estimation, or Category not applicable), please visit UIS.Stat (http://data.uis.unesco.org/).

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