793 Million Adults Worldwide Cannot Read These Words1
64% of them are Women2
10 Countries Account for 72% of All Illiterate Adults3
67 Million Primary School-Age Children are out of School4
Reading skills build the foundation for all future learning. And yet in sub-Saharan Africa, a child with five years of education has a 40% chance of being illiterate.5
For example, in Mali, Pakistan, and Peru, more than 70% of children in the primary grades cannot read at grade level.6 A leading international assessment indicates that low-income countries are performing in the bottom 5th percentile in the world in learning outcomes.
People who can read enjoy better health, make more money, create safer and more stable democracies, and serve their communities more effectively. If all students in low-income countries left primary school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty– the equivalent of a 12% drop in world poverty.7