World Literacy Rate 1976-2020

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.
  • World literacy rate for 2018 was 86.30%, a 0.18% increase from 2017.
  • World literacy rate for 2017 was 86.13%, a 0.23% increase from 2016.
  • World literacy rate for 2016 was 85.89%, a 0.3% increase from 2015.
  • World literacy rate for 2015 was 85.60%, a 0.31% 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%
World Literacy Rate - Historical Data
Year Literacy Rate Annual Change
2018 86.30% 0.18%
2017 86.13% 0.23%
2016 85.89% 0.30%
2015 85.60% 0.31%
2014 85.28% 0.38%
2013 84.90% 0.18%
2012 84.73% 0.35%
2011 84.37% 0.27%
2010 84.10% 0.38%
2009 83.72% 0.31%
2008 83.41% 0.41%
2007 83.00% 0.59%
2006 82.41% 0.00%
2005 82.41% -0.04%
2004 82.45% 0.51%
2003 81.94% 0.53%
2002 81.41% 0.40%
2001 81.02% 0.24%
2000 80.78% 0.22%
1999 80.56% 0.35%
1998 80.21% 1.21%
1997 78.99% 2.04%
1996 76.96% 0.42%
1995 76.54% 0.39%
1994 76.15% 0.40%
1993 75.74% 0.41%
1992 75.34% 0.43%
1991 74.91% 0.54%
1990 74.37% 0.33%
1989 74.04% 0.55%
1988 73.49% 1.81%
1987 71.68% 0.70%
1986 70.98% 0.57%
1985 70.41% 0.61%
1984 69.81% 0.66%
1983 69.15% 0.68%
1982 68.47% 0.64%
1981 67.83% 0.69%
1980 67.14% 0.40%
1979 66.73% 0.61%
1978 66.12% 0.61%
1977 65.50% 0.31%
1976 65.19% 0.31%