World Literacy Rate 1976-2024

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 2020 was 86.81%, a 0.16% increase from 2019.
  • World literacy rate for 2019 was 86.66%, a 0.38% increase from 2018.
  • World literacy rate for 2018 was 86.28%, a 0.03% increase from 2017.
  • World literacy rate for 2017 was 86.25%, a 0.24% increase from 2016.
Data Source: World Bank

MLA Citation:
Similar Country Ranking
Country Name Literacy Rate
East Asia & Pacific 96.01%
Latin America & Caribbean 94.12%
World 86.81%
South Asia 73.28%
Sub-Saharan Africa 67.27%
World Literacy Rate - Historical Data
Year Literacy Rate Annual Change
2020 86.81% 0.16%
2019 86.66% 0.38%
2018 86.28% 0.03%
2017 86.25% 0.24%
2016 86.01% 0.45%
2015 85.56% 0.16%
2014 85.40% 0.45%
2013 84.95% 0.19%
2012 84.76% 0.44%
2011 84.32% 0.21%
2010 84.11% 0.39%
2009 83.72% 0.29%
2008 83.43% 0.48%
2007 82.94% 0.34%
2006 82.61% 0.19%
2005 82.42% -0.05%
2004 82.47% 0.40%
2003 82.07% 0.51%
2002 81.55% 0.38%
2001 81.18% 0.31%
2000 80.87% 0.12%
1999 80.75% 0.33%
1998 80.43% 1.18%
1997 79.25% 2.02%
1996 77.23% 0.40%
1995 76.83% 0.40%
1994 76.43% 0.41%
1993 76.02% 0.41%
1992 75.61% 0.46%
1991 75.15% 0.55%
1990 74.61% 0.21%
1989 74.40% 0.42%
1988 73.98% 1.66%
1987 72.32% 0.57%
1986 71.75% 0.43%
1985 71.32% 0.46%
1984 70.86% 0.52%
1983 70.34% 0.53%
1982 69.82% 0.49%
1981 69.33% 0.54%
1980 68.79% 0.27%
1979 68.51% 0.44%
1978 68.08% 0.46%
1977 67.62% 0.18%
1976 67.44% 0.18%