I was interested in locating world literacy rates, as a snapshot of the progress of education on our world. I'm interested in a world view, as opposed to a strictly national view, though Rick has asked us about what we think about our own country. I imagine seeing the world from space, and look for the things that unify us, rather than divide us. I found some interesting data about the world not only about literacy, but other (to me) fascinating facts, some of which I want to share with you.
6,928,198,253 (July 2011 est.)
0-14 years: 26.3% (male 944,987,919/female 884,268,378)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 2,234,860,865/female 2,187,838,153)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 227,164,176/female 289,048,221) (2011 est.)
total: 28.4 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 29 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.092% (2011 est.)
Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%, non-religious 9.42%, atheists 2.04% (2009 est.)
Mandarin Chinese 12.44%, Spanish 4.85%, English 4.83%, Arabic 3.25%, Hindi 2.68%, Bengali 2.66%, Portuguese 2.62%, Russian 2.12%, Japanese 1.8%, Standard German 1.33%, Javanese 1.25% (2009 est.)
note: percents are for "first language" speakers only; the six UN languages - Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Spanish (Castilian), and Russian - are the mother tongue or second language of about half of the world's population, and are the official languages in more than half the states in the world
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.7%
note: over two-thirds of the world's 793 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries (Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan); of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women; extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions, the Arab states, South and West Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, where around one-third of the men and half of all women are illiterate (2005-09 est.)*
I thought the literacy rate would be lower, so I was suprized to learn of the total population age 15 and over of the world 84% are literate - can read and write.
P.2086 - §3 Even secular education could help in this great spiritual renaissance if it would pay more attention to the work of teaching youth how to engage in life planning and character progression. The purpose of all education should be to foster and further the supreme purpose of life, the development of a majestic and well-balanced personality. There is great need for the teaching of moral discipline in the place of so much self-gratification. Upon such a foundation religion may contribute its spiritual incentive to the enlargement and enrichment of mortal life, even to the security and enhancement of life eternal.
All the best,