• Adult Literacy Rates

  • Adult total

  • 1870–2010
Sources & Data

World Bank, World Development Indicators database
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook
National Center of Education Statistics, National Assessment of Adult Literacy, accessed April 23, 2013
UNESCO, “Progress of Literacy in Various Countries, a Preliminary Statistical Study of Available Census Data since 1900,” (1953), accessed April 22, 2013
UNESCO “World Illiteracy at Mid-Century,” (1957), accessed April 21, 2013
UNESCO, Compendium of statistics on illiteracy, various editions


Literacy rates are based on population surveys which were not conducted on a regular basis and did not cover many developing countries.

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