The World Literacy Rate

As global problems like the world literacy rate have become more focused in relief efforts, many people have contributed to the advancement of reading and writing skills, but experts say that the world is still not at the point where it needs to be. The current world literacy rate is estimated at 82 percent, but a true count is nearly impossible due to the population fluctuations and difficulty in getting an accurate count at any one given point in time. The current rate is based on a range of census data and literacy statistics that come from as late as 2010 and as early as the 1970s for some island nations.

At the top of the literacy list is a few smaller countries that have large budgets for education, such as Vatican City and Andorra. At the same time, there are a few larger countries that have reported one hundred percent literacy. Most of these come from the European continent, like Norway and Finland, but the country of Georgia and Greenland also have the same percentage. The literacy rate in these countries is certainly tied to the high standard of living in these countries and the available access to quality education resources.

At the other end of the spectrum, the majority of the countries with the lowest literacy rate come from central and western Africa. In particular, the country of Burkina Faso has the lowest reported world literacy rate, with only 21.8 percent of the population having basic reading and writing skills. Other countries that are below one third of the population include Guinea, Niger, Chad, and Afghanistan. In the same vein as those countries with high literacy rates, there is a direct connection between the level of income, quality of life, and the proficiency of reading and writing skills of its inhabitants.