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Home > Literacy > International Literacy Day 2015 Accueil

 International Literacy Day 2015 

According to new data 757 million adults still lack basic reading and writing skills

 

In 2000, the international community pledged to reduce by half the rate of illiteracy among adults, especially women, by 2015. New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) indicate that while literacy rates have improved the goal will not be met. According to the new estimates, there are 757 million adults, including 115 million youth, who still cannot read or write a simple sentence. Roughly two-thirds of them are female.

 

The data underscore the need for a greater commitment to the new literacy target of the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes the ambitious pledge to “ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy” by 2030.

 

Since 2000, literacy rates for adults (aged 15 years and older) have improved, reaching 85% globally, but sub-Saharan African and South and West Asia still have the lowest rates. In countries like Afghanistan, Mali and Senegal, the adult literacy rate is below 50%.


 

 Explore the data

 

Literacy among youth (aged 15 to 24 years) has also risen steadily to 91% globally, thanks to better access to schooling for this generation. But in sub-Saharan African and South and West Asia, youth literacy rates are still just 70% and 84% respectively.

 

Women account for two-thirds of all illiterate adults (63%), and the gap is nearly as wide among youth. Young women make up 59% of the 115 million illiterate youth. South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are far from gender parity:  women aged 15 years and older are 24% less likely to be literate than men in the same age group. Meanwhile, youth in East Asia and the Pacific have reached gender parity, joining adults and youth in Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central and Eastern Europe.

 

National projections to 2015 show that most countries are likely to miss the EFA target of a 50% improvement in the adult literacy rate. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to be furthest from the target at 64%, or 15% below the target of 79%.

 

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31/08/2015

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