Lowest Literacy Rates

The countries with the lowest literacy rate, defined as the ability to read and write at a specified age.

1. Burkina Faso 21.8%
2. Chad 25.7
3. Afghanistan 28.1
4. Niger 28.7
5. Guinea 29.5
6. Benin 34.7
7. Sierra Leone 35.1
8. Somalia 37.8
9. Senegal 39.3
10. Gambia 40.1

NOTE: Country rankings of the type presented above cannot pretend to be definitive; instead they aspire only to provide the reader with an approximation of the high and low ends on a particular scale. Country data vary enormously depending on the sources, and the absence of reliable data on some countries requires their omission, which further skews the results. Only countries for which statistics were available in sources 1 and 2 figure in these lists. Sources: 1. The World Factbook, 2013. 2. U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.

General World Statistics