Which European country has the most illiterates?


Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
Lower Styria, Slovenia
Noone really knows. In Slovenia they last asked this in 1991 when we became independent. We had a little more than 7000 illiterate people, the total population was slightly less than 2 million then. The majority of those 7000 were people older than 15 without education. Our population is above 2 million now, illiteracy has probably decreased though, at least students show better results in literacy tests. For refference, 100 years ago illiteracy in Slovenia was 8,8 %.
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Feb 2016
UK as a whole is 99% literate. So 1% illiterate.

But this is only for totally illiterate (can't read or write)
Functional illiteracy (they can read and write poorly) was at 16% in England and Wales (2015) and 25% in Scotland (2000).

I'm not sure if the figures include migrants who might be able to read and write in Polish/Urdu or Chinese but not English.
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Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
It says %5 for Turkey. Though I am taken aback by the fact that some people here can actually read. Ugh.

Edit: The OP says "European countries". Good that I did not mention Niger, too.
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Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
Indeed! I wasn't even aware that the US was a European country. ;)

I wonder how many of those stats reflect being illiterate in English only as opposed to say Spanish. Although I have personally encountered two people in the US that were illiterate and both were young white males, I was completely shocked both times and embarrassed for them.

The idea that someone cannot read is just mind blowing to me.

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