South Africa Ranked Among The Most Illiterate Countries In The World

Books to read

Books to read

A study by the central Connecticut State University places SA among the most illiterate nations in the world.

Now, before you go and get your panties in a twist, the report doesn’t look at a population’s ability to actually read; but instead it looked at “literate behaviour”, based on five categories: libraries, newspapers, education inputs and outputs, and computer availability.

The report defined each category as follows:

  • Newspapers: paid-for dailies, circulation, online editions and newspaper exports
  • Libraries: The number of academic, public and school libraries, and the number of volumes publicly accessible
  • Education inputs: Years of schooling and public expenditure on education
  • Education outputs: Reading assessment scores for younger and older students
  • Computers: Percentage of households with either desktop or laptop computer
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Of the 61 countries surveyed in the report, Mzanzi ranks 56th in terms of literary health with piss poor performance in computers (56th), newspapers (59th) and libraries, where we rank 50th. Our education inputs-and-outputs weren’t all that bad, hovering between 37th and 38th.

As you would have expected, the highest ranking countries in the world in terms of “literacy” are the Scandinavian nations. The United States is the only Western nation that ranks in the top 10.

The top 10 nations are:

# Country
1 Finland
2 Norway
3 Iceland
4 Denmark
5 Sweden
6 Switzerland
7 United States
8 Germany
9 Latvia
10 Netherlands


And the bottom 10:

52 Tunisia
53 Malaysia
54 Albania
55 Panama
56 South Africa
57 Colombia
58 Morocco
59 Thailand
60 Indonesia
61 Botswana


source: The South African

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