Top 10 Most Illiterate Countries In The World

Literacy is the capability to read and write one’s own name and more for knowledge and interest, write comprehensibly and think critically about the word that is written and the inefficiency to do such is known as illiteracy. Now a day, all over the world literacy statistics represents a sad picture of people having the capability to read and write. In fact, the illiteracy has dominated more than 750 millions. The worldwide literacy data shows harmful effects on the people all around the world. The illiteracy rate is high for females as two out of every three illiterate people are females. The most annoying fact about illiteracy is that many people do not take this issue seriously. The inability to read and write and to understand the basic fundamentals of life have made their life extremely difficult. However they still deny the importance of literacy. Highly industrialized countries such as Japan, North Korea, Australia, the progressive countries of Europe and North America have almost zero literacy rates. The highest illiteracy rates are present in less metropolitanized countries of Africa, Asia and South America but mostly in Africa. Here is the list of top 10 most illiterate countries in the world. Have a look at these and think still in this modern era such illiteracy rate is present.

Top 10 Most Illiterate Countries In The World

10. Mauritania

Most Illiterate Countries In The World

Mauritania has very high illiteracy rate of about 60.1%. In the mid 80s, the literacy rate was estimated to be in between of 18% and 25%.There are no programs at all to teach the adults. As by law, to attend the school is mandatory for kids and it is absolutely free of cost. However the poor children face so much hindrance, the price of food and other comforts keep them away from educational facilities offered by the Government. Lack of transport is another challenge for those living in countryside. Many children never go to school at all and cause literacy rate low year after year.




9.  Ethiopia

Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 9. Ethiopia

The World Bank disclosed the literacy rate in Ethiopia through its study about five years ago. According to this study, the literacy rate in Ethiopia was at 29.82%. This was based on the number of individuals who were capable of reading and writing even straightforward sentences that were used in daily conversation. Now days, the illiteracy rate of Ethiopia is fixed at 61.3%, one of the highest rate in that entire area. Non government organizations have set up a lot of learning institutes and colleges in the country. Ethiopian government is doing efforts to improve the educational system, however the programs for development are implemented at very slow speed.


8. Benin

Top 10 Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 8. Benin

Benin is one of the poorest countries in Africa, irrespective of the fact that it is rich in natural resources that can increase the country’s income. It has a total population of 9.05 million and has an illiteracy rate of 62.5%. A huge number of the population is unable to read and write. The country is doing substantial work to increase the education.


7. Senegal

Top 10 Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 7. Senegal

It is located in West Africa having an illiteracy rate of 62.7%. It receives international donation every year as it had undergone economy depreciation in past few years. Instead of excessive investments for last three decades on educational programs, development is still very slow. Millions of children are unable to go to schools. The speedy population growth makes the job of educating everyone extremely difficult. Almost 50% of adult population is illiterate.


6. Guinea-Bissau

Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 6. Guinea-Bissau

The illiteracy rate of this country is 63.2% which is a huge percentage of the total population, even though education is compulsory for children of 7 to 13 years of age. But because of the uncontrolled child labor, an appreciable portion of the population does not know even the basics of reading and writing. Internal conflicts have affected a lot of people, caused a lot of damage to schools and restricted many people from going to school even for a long period. The huge number of uneducated people is due to lack of educational opportunities.


5. The Gambia

Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 5. The Gambia

It is a smaller West African country having an illiteracy rate of 63.5%. The free education is mandatory for everyone by the Gambia Government but the deficiency of resources and educational infrastructure is a huge hindrance in implementation of this law. This is an agricultural country having literacy rate of 77.1% two decades ago, at that time 8 out of 10 people go to school but high school fees and other expenses lead to decline in literacy rate. Now better rules are applied for education but still the illiteracy rate stays at 63.5%.


4. Sierra Leone

Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 4. Sierra Leone

This country with a population of above six million, depends on its mining industry for the annually income. It has very low literacy rate like other West African countries, an illiteracy rate of 63.7%. The law makes the children to attend at least six years in the primary and three years in the secondary. However the lack of resources, the schools and the teachers made it impossible to act. Two third amount of population is illiterate. The Civil War caused a wide destruction of schools. Now days, the school registration has doubled and new schools are developed to replace the older ones. Primary education is compulsory and is free of any charges.


3. Afghanistan

Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 3. Afghanistan

Afghanistan is ranked at number three in this list having the illiteracy rate of 63.7%. Almost 75% of the population of Afghanistan lives in rural areas and having worse educational opportunities. 70% of the men and almost all the women are illiterate. It faces a lot of problems in developing literacy the number one problem is violence. It is one of the most badly affected countries by violence against schools and education. Other challenges include lack of sufficient teacher’s education, infrastructure, extremist curriculum and child labor.


2. Burkina Faso

Most Illiterate Countries In The World, 2. Burkina Faso

The second most illiterate country in the world is Burkina Faso having an illiteracy rate of 77% with inadequate school registration percentage of only 39.1%. Majority off illiterate people are adults comprising of more than 70% of adult population and therefore this country is suffering from tremendous deficiency of school teachers even at primary level. School years interruptions and large class sizes of more than 120 students in a class are common factors making the individuals uneducated.


1. Niger with 84.3%


The country on the top of this list with highest illiteracy rate is Niger. More than 80% of the adults of this country are uneducated and the illiteracy rate of this country is 84.3%. Such huge amount of population is unable to read, write and understand.

The primary education is mandatory in this country for six years, school enrollment and attendance are extremely low especially in case of women. Child labor is the major challenge this country facing in development of education. A lot of people are forced to work in this developing country.



3 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Illiterate Countries In The World

  1. Highly industrialized countries such as Japan, North Korea, Australia, the progressive countries of Europe and North America have almost zero literacy rates.

    Highly industrialized countries – North Korea??
    zero literacy rates??

    1. North Korea was once much more industrialized (and also richer) than the south counterpart (in the 50′). North Korea is not very different from Cuba for example, their literacy rate is quite high in spite of being a poor nation. Not all in the communism system is bad. 😉

  2. most are muslim dominated – pres. Obama, for your attn as you insist on talking to their phd reps.stop talking, learn arabic,study Koran in arabic to better understand who you’re really trying to talk to if seeing heads rolling isn’t loud enough for you.

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