Educate Yourself! - Literacy
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has drafted the following definition: Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society.
- The California State Adult Literacy Survey found that adults in California had average scores of 270 on the prose scale, 263 on the document scale, and 269 on the quantitative scale. These proficiencies were 6 to 8 points lower than those of adults living in the West, but comparable to those of adults nationwide. In all three populations —the state, region, and nation—average scores were in the Level 2 range (226 to 275).
- Twenty-four to 26 percent of the respondents in California demonstrated skills in the lowest level of prose, document, and quantitative proficiencies (Level 1) according to the California State Adult Literacy Survey.
For more information on adult literacy in California and to learn about requirements for NALS' literacy levels 1-5 visit http://nces.ed.gov/naal/pdf/state_summaries/California.pdf.
- 15,667,433 adults in North America are illiterate.
- According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), in 2003, 14% of American adults were Below Basic prose literacy level (meaning that they have no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills).
- The NAAL also reported that 55 % of adults with Below Basic prose literacy did not graduate from high school, compared to 15 percent of adults in the general population.
Visit http://nces.ed.gov/naal/kf_demographics.asp for more information on literacy rates in the United States.
- According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in the world today, there are about 1 billion non-literate adults.
This 1 billion is approximately 26 percent of the world's adult population.
Women make up two-thirds of all non-literates.
98 percent of all non-literates live in developing countries.
In the least developed countries, the overall illiteracy rate is 49 percent.
52 percent of all non-literates live in India and China.
Africa as a continent has a literacy rate of less than 60 percent.
In Sub-Saharan Africa since 1980, primary school enrollment has declined, going from 58 percent to 50 percent.
In all developing countries, the percentage of children aged 6-11 not attending school is 15 percent. In the least developed countries, it is 45 percent.(UNESCO 1998.
Visit www.unesco.org for more information on literacy rates throught the world.