We have put together a new dataset with long-run literacy rates by country

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics.

This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on Literacy, which we have just updated.

We recently put together a new dataset with long-run literacy estimates country by country. As always you can add new countries through the option at the bottom left, you can switch to the Map view, you can download the data without restriction, and you can save the visualization by clicking on the arrow that points downward.

This dataset combines data from a number of sources: We took the estimates from the World Bank’s WDI as our base, and then extended coverage by adding literacy estimates from the CIA Factbook, as well as several other long-run series. You find all the details in the 'Source' tab in the chart below.

Comparability across sources is not perfect; but this dataset is helpful to get a basic idea of trends across countries and time. If you want to learn more about how literacy is measured, and the limitations of available sources, check out our related blog post here: