The State of Literacy around the World

September 11, 2015

Tuesday was international literacy day.

Canada is lucky in that 99% of our adults able to read and write, something that puts us 36th on the Indexmundi list of world literacy rates. Getting other up-to-date statistics about literacy is challenging however, particularly since the Centre for Literacy closed its doors last May.

According to a study conducted in 2003 and outlined by Literacy Quebec, however, Quebec adults are struggling more than those in other provinces. Within Quebec, there are

approximately 509,000 people aged 16 to 65 with very limited literacy skills (Level 1) in prose literacy, document literacy and numeracy.”

The organization also has a compelling video series showing how hard it is for people with low literacy skills to function.

Volunteers around the country are working to help people become more literate. Congratulations to one of them, Hélène Simard, who became the Quebec recipient of the 11th annual Council of the Federation Literacy Award on Tuesday. Simard has been active as a board member with La Clé, Centre de lecture et d’écriture d’Alma (The Key, Alma Reading and Writing Centre) and a representative with the committee for Regroupement des groupes populaires en alphabétisation du Québec (Coalition of Literacy Groups in Québec).

Here are more statistics about literacy around the world, courtesy of Grammarly.

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Literacy Day

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