Sub-Saharan Africa Literacy Rate 1985-2020

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 2018 was 65.58%, a 0.53% increase from 2017.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2017 was 65.05%, a 0.26% increase from 2016.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2016 was 64.79%, a 0.7% increase from 2015.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa literacy rate for 2015 was 64.09%, a 0.6% increase from 2014.
Data Source: World Bank

MLA Citation:
Similar Country Ranking
Country Name Literacy Rate
East Asia & Pacific 95.61%
Latin America & Caribbean 93.87%
World 86.30%
South Asia 72.25%
Sub-Saharan Africa 65.58%
Sub-Saharan Africa Literacy Rate - Historical Data
Year Literacy Rate Annual Change
2018 65.58% 0.53%
2017 65.05% 0.26%
2016 64.79% 0.70%
2015 64.09% 0.60%
2014 63.49% 0.67%
2013 62.82% 0.32%
2012 62.49% 1.30%
2011 61.19% 1.63%
2010 59.56% 0.31%
2009 59.25% 1.17%
2008 58.08% -0.42%
2007 58.50% 0.14%
2006 58.36% -1.16%
2005 59.52% -0.99%
2004 60.51% 1.88%
2003 58.63% 0.46%
2002 58.17% 0.51%
2001 57.66% 1.00%
2000 56.66% -1.36%
1999 58.02% 0.83%
1998 57.19% 0.66%
1997 56.53% 0.87%
1996 55.66% 0.68%
1995 54.98% 0.29%
1994 54.69% 0.74%
1993 53.95% 0.58%
1992 53.38% 0.46%
1991 52.92% 0.39%
1990 52.53% 0.63%
1989 51.89% 0.57%
1988 51.32% 0.46%
1987 50.86% 0.60%
1986 50.26% 0.30%
1985 49.96% 0.30%