Sub-Saharan Africa Literacy Rate 1985-2021

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.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2019 was 65.47%, a 0.43% increase from 2018.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2018 was 65.04%, a 0.52% increase from 2017.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2017 was 64.52%, a 0.26% increase from 2016.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2016 was 64.26%, a 0.71% increase from 2015.
Data Source: World Bank

MLA Citation:
Similar Country Ranking
Country Name Literacy Rate
East Asia & Pacific 95.77%
Latin America & Caribbean 94.29%
World 86.48%
South Asia 72.95%
Sub-Saharan Africa 65.47%
Sub-Saharan Africa Literacy Rate - Historical Data
Year Literacy Rate Annual Change
2019 65.47% 0.43%
2018 65.04% 0.52%
2017 64.52% 0.26%
2016 64.26% 0.71%
2015 63.55% 0.60%
2014 62.95% 0.65%
2013 62.30% 0.86%
2012 61.44% 1.13%
2011 60.31% 1.57%
2010 58.73% 0.56%
2009 58.18% 0.80%
2008 57.37% 0.09%
2007 57.28% -2.48%
2006 59.76% 1.24%
2005 58.52% -0.98%
2004 59.50% 1.60%
2003 57.91% 0.44%
2002 57.46% 0.50%
2001 56.97% 0.98%
2000 55.98% -1.37%
1999 57.35% 0.82%
1998 56.54% 0.65%
1997 55.89% 0.86%
1996 55.03% 0.68%
1995 54.35% 0.30%
1994 54.06% 0.75%
1993 53.31% 0.59%
1992 52.72% 0.47%
1991 52.25% 0.40%
1990 51.85% 0.68%
1989 51.17% 0.61%
1988 50.56% 0.50%
1987 50.06% 0.65%
1986 49.41% 0.36%
1985 49.05% 0.36%