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Illiteracy Statistics

U.S. Illiteracy Statistics Data
Percent of U.S. adults who can’t read (below a basic level) 14 %
Number of U.S. adults who can’t read 32,000,000
Percent of prison inmates who can’t read 70 %
Percent of high school graduates who can’t read 19 %
Reading Level of U.S. Adults Percent
Proficient 13 %
Intermediate 44 %
Basic 29 %
Below Basic 14 %
Demographics of Adults Who Read Below a Basic Level Percent of Population
Hispanic 41 %
Black 24 %
White 9 %
Other 13 %
Global Illiteracy Statistics Data
Number of people worldwide who can't read 775,000,000
Percent of the worlds illiterate who are female 66 %
Countries With the Highest Illiteracy Rates Illiteracy Rate
South Sudan 73 %
Mali 72.3 %
Afghanistan 71.9 %
Niger 71.3 %
Burkina Faso 71.3 %
Sierra Leone 64.9 %
Chad 64.6 %
Ethiopia 61 %

According to the CIA World Factbook, almost 75% of the world's 775 million illiterate adults are concentrated in ten countries (in descending order: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo).

Statistic Verification
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy
Research Date: December 2nd, 2015

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