Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate in The World

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate in The World 2017. Education is a highly important pillar for any country to stand on. If its population is not educated sufficiently then the economy is likely to struggle, new research will be difficult and individuals are less likely to be able to improve upon their current situation. Education is all around us and from vocational studies to classical and scientific research, we live in a world that is perhaps obsessed with learning new things. This can only be a good thing. Lesser education levels are usually seen alongside stagnation and poorer nations who are held back in the world, partly due to their less educated populace.There is perhaps a problem with inequality when it comes to educational opportunity. Many young people in developing nations have to work to support their families and therefore cannot afford the time or money to be educated. This gives young people in developed nations an advantage and so supports the vicious cycle.

Earlier this year, John Miller, president of the Central Connecticut State University in New Britain conducted a survey aiming to illuminate on the literacy levels (and other things) of countries across the world. The research looked at literacy achievement tests and what he called ‘literate behavior characteristics’, such as the numbers of libraries that countries had, the numbers of newspapers, the availability of computers and the numbers of years of schooling in each country. This goes beyond the simple ability to read, which many other surveys have looked at in the past. It probably provides a more complete picture of the literacy question and suggests what more could be done by some countries to improve literacy rates. Interestingly, the research also showed the investment that countries are putting into their education systems, with Brazil, Israel and Mexico coming out as the top three, followed by Belgium and Argentina. More investment is likely to lead to better results in the future. This list takes a look at Miller’s top ten countries with the highest literacy rates.

List of Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate in The World 2017

10. The Netherlands


The Netherlands came on top when it came to the numbers of households with computers. This is perhaps an unfair measure given it excludes many poorer nations who cannot afford to have domestic computers. Nonetheless, it was a core part of Miller’s system of measuring literacy.

9. Latvia

Latvia Top Famous Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate 2019

Education is compulsory to be full time for all children up to the age of 15 in Latvia. Its tertiary education system is thriving and attracts students from Lithuania, Russia and the Ukraine who are keen to study abroad. Latvia also featured second highest in terms of the numbers of libraries that there are available to people in the country.

8. Germany

Germany Top Most Popular Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate 2018

Germany has the third largest number of newspapers as well as a thriving primary and secondary education system. Germany has a booming economy at the heart of Europe which is partly based on a literate and well educated domestic population who are able to take hold of the challenges they are faced with. The concept of ‘Kindergarten’ was introduced in Germany in 1840.

7. United States of America


Whilst the United States did not feature in the top five of any particular category in Miller’s system it still performs very well overall, principally due to its old and effective higher education system which attracts students from all over the world, due to its prestigious universities, of which 8 or the world’s 10 best are said to be in the country.

6. Switzerland


Switzerland has the fourth largest number of newspapers and despite its size it also has a signifcant number of universities that perform in the lists of the ‘best in the world’. It invests highly in education and it is held in high regard across the country. This is one of the Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate in The World 2017.

5. Sweden

Sweden Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate

Sweden is the first of the Scandinavian countries to feature on the list, all of which did very well when it came to overall performance on the list. Children in Sweden do not start their formal schooling until later than many other children across Europe and the rest of the world but this doesn’t hold them back. The country also spend a signifcant proportion of its GDP on education, as compared to other countries.

4. Denmark

Denmark Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate 2017

Denmark came third when it came to the numbers of households with computers, which must boost its overall score, but more than anything else it was the number of years that children spend in education, its fantastic higher education system and the ability of its population perform well.

3. Iceland

Iceland Top Most Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate 2018

Little Iceland has the second highest number of households that own computers and came fourth in the libraries category. The country puts great emphasis on lifelong education as well as having a superb domestic education system for its young people.

2. Norway

Norway Top Popular Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate 2019

Norwegian education is provided for free of charge at the point of entry, paid for by the state and it is held in high regard. Many Norwegians are bi-lingual or speak even more languages, English being the most common, due to the fact that nobody else speaks Norwegian! Norway came third for libraries and second for newspapers as well as fifth in the number of households with computers category. This beautiful country seems to have an education system that works for all and it supports Norwegian children to thrive later in life.

1. Finland

Finland Top Most Famous Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate 2017

Finland came fourth in the newspapers category and second when it came to test scores. The country spends a significant 7% of its GDP on education which is partly why it so often features at the top of this list, no matter how you are judging it. There are many institutes available to all ages and education for life is encouraged. They have a monolithic culture which truly values reading which certainly helps their score. Teaching is highly valued in Finland and equal access is given to all, something that is very important when it comes to their score.

These are the Top 10 Countries With The Highest Literacy Rate in The World 2017. Obviously there are lots of different ways that you can measure literacy and Miller’s way here is unique. However, the trajectory is clear and that is that literacy is improving across the world and as other countries develop their literacy rates will also improve. Indeed, some might say that it is because they are improving their literacy rates that they are developing.

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