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 Andorra 100.00 2016
1 Greenland 100.00 2015
3 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 100.00 2008
4 Uzbekistan 99.98 2015
5 Ukraine 99.96 2012
6 Estonia 99.91 2011
7 Latvia 99.91 2011
8 Lithuania 99.83 2011
9 Cuba 99.80 2012
10 Kazakhstan 99.74 2010
11 Azerbaijan 99.72 2016
12 Armenia 99.69 2011
13 Russia 99.65 2010
14 Georgia 99.51 2014
15 Belarus 99.49 2009
16 Slovenia 99.45 1991
17 Tonga 99.43 2011
18 Antigua and Barbuda 99.42 2001
19 Barbados 99.25 1970
20 Tajikistan 99.22 2000
21 Samoa 99.07 2011
22 Cayman Islands 99.02 2007
23 Kyrgyz Republic 98.98 2009
24 Moldova 98.92 2012
25 Uruguay 98.87 2015
26 Croatia 98.67 2011
27 Italy 98.58 2011
28 Hungary 98.45 1980
29 Mongolia 98.34 2010
30 Turkmenistan 98.26 1995
31 Poland 98.25 1978
32 Serbia 98.23 2016
33 Romania 98.21 2011
34 Argentina 98.13 2015
35 Cyprus 98.12 2011
36 Bulgaria 97.98 2011
37 Spain 97.70 2016
38 Grenada 97.59 1970
39 Qatar 97.56 2014
40 Montenegro 97.50 2011
41 Costa Rica 97.50 2011
42 Jordan 97.37 2012
43 Venezuela 97.21 2016
44 Philippines 96.79 2013
45 Palau 96.34 2015
46 Greece 96.23 2011
47 Chile 96.16 2013
48 Albania 96.14 2012
49 Trinidad and Tobago 95.66 1990
50 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 95.50 1970
51 Singapore 95.45 2016
52 Macao SAR, China 95.03 2016
53 Bosnia and Herzegovina 94.91 2013
54 Malta 94.79 2011
55 Brunei 94.65 2011
56 Kuwait 94.47 2015
57 Seychelles 94.45 2010
58 Colombia 94.42 2015
59 Paraguay 94.34 2015
60 Macedonia 94.06 2002
61 Indonesia 93.59 2016
62 Mexico 93.49 2015
63 Panama 93.49 2010
64 South Africa 93.41 2015
65 Ecuador 93.31 2016
66 Portugal 92.86 2011
67 China 92.71 2010
68 Turkey 92.65 2015
69 Puerto Rico 92.53 2010
70 Dominican Republic 92.32 2015
71 Brazil 92.06 2014
72 Bahrain 91.61 2010
73 United Arab Emirates 91.47 2005
74 Vietnam 91.38 2009
75 Saudi Arabia 91.37 2013
76 Thailand 91.19 2015
77 Peru 91.19 2016
78 Suriname 91.00 2012
79 Malaysia 90.75 2010
80 Mauritius 90.65 2015
81 Sri Lanka 89.96 2010
82 Honduras 88.93 2016
83 Israel 88.67 1983
84 Bolivia 88.58 2015
85 Zimbabwe 88.28 2014
86 Lebanon 88.09 2009
87 Namibia 87.95 2011
88 El Salvador 86.22 2015
89 Oman 86.04 2015
90 Jamaica 85.87 1999
91 São Tomé and Principe 85.44 2012
92 Guyana 85.03 2014
93 Lesotho 84.93 2014
94 Swaziland 82.45 2010
95 Cabo Verde 82.04 2015
96 Botswana 81.81 2003
97 Equatorial Guinea 81.62 2000
98 Gabon 79.88 2012
99 Iran 79.84 2014
100 Nicaragua 77.92 2005
101 Zambia 77.75 2010
102 Guatemala 76.37 2014
103 Kenya 74.01 2014
104 Syrian Arab Republic 73.63 2004
105 Tanzania 73.09 2015
106 Congo 72.88 2011
107 Tunisia 72.22 2014
108 Myanmar 71.85 2016
109 Belize 70.33 1991
110 Bangladesh 69.90 2016
111 Solomon Islands 69.00 1999
112 Madagascar 68.28 2012
113 Algeria 67.55 2008
114 Egypt 67.18 2013
115 Dem. Rep. Congo 66.50 2016
116 Cambodia 65.93 2009
117 Ghana 65.29 2010
118 Cameroon 64.80 2010
119 Rwanda 64.66 2012
120 Uganda 61.97 2012
121 India 59.28 2011
122 Morocco 59.13 2012
123 Malawi 55.20 2015
124 Eritrea 54.80 2008
125 Burundi 54.66 2014
126 Angola 53.41 2014
127 Timor-Leste 52.96 2010
128 Togo 51.24 2015
129 Papua New Guinea 50.92 2000
130 Lao PDR 49.72 2011
131 Nepal 48.84 2011
132 Bhutan 48.02 2012
133 Vanuatu 47.78 1979
134 Sudan 46.70 2008
135 Haiti 44.60 2006
136 Pakistan 44.28 2014
137 Comoros 42.64 2012
138 Libya 42.31 1984
139 Nigeria 41.39 2008
140 Iraq 37.96 2013
141 Côte d'Ivoire 36.78 2014
142 Mozambique 36.45 2009
143 Mauritania 35.35 2007
144 Senegal 33.60 2013
145 The Gambia 33.58 2013
146 Guinea-Bissau 30.77 2014
147 Ethiopia 28.92 2007
148 Liberia 27.03 2007
149 Burkina Faso 26.22 2014
150 Sierra Leone 24.86 2013
151 Central African Republic 24.36 2010
152 Mali 22.20 2015
153 Benin 22.09 2012
154 Guinea 21.96 2014
155 Afghanistan 17.61 2011
156 Yemen 17.06 1994
157 Chad 13.96 2016
158 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.

Other Notes: Each economy is classified based on the classification of World Bank Group's fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017).

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