According to new data 757 million adults still lack basic reading and writing skills
In 2000, the international community pledged to reduce by half the rate of illiteracy among adults, especially women, by 2015. New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) indicate that while literacy rates have improved the goal will not be met. According to the new estimates, there are 757 million adults, including 115 million youth, who still cannot read or write a simple sentence. Roughly two-thirds of them are female.
The data underscore the need for a greater commitment to the new literacy target of the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes the ambitious pledge to “ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy” by 2030.
Since 2000, literacy rates for adults (aged 15 years and older) have improved, reaching 85% globally, but sub-Saharan African and South and West Asia still have the lowest rates. In countries like Afghanistan, Mali and Senegal, the adult literacy rate is below 50%.