Highest youth literacy rates APAC 2018 by country

Singapore proved to be the most literate country across the Asia pacific region in 2018. The country demonstrated a youth literacy rate of 99.93 percent, beating the likes of China and Brunei to the top spot. Singapore has exhibited a constant increase of its literacy rate throughout recent years.

Indicators for the literacy rate

An indicator which can be seen to affect the literacy rate is the governmental effort in investing in education. The amount of funds invested into the education sector is a factor which can determine a country’s state of education, as the amount of money being spent on education would have an impact on resources, learning environment, and teaching quality. Singapore’s student-teacher ratio in primary education is significantly lower than that of South Asian countries. For instance, Nepal had 21.5 students for every teacher in 2017. Meanwhile, Singaporean teachers only had around 15.2 students on average. Notably, South Asia, together with sub-Saharan Africa, had a much higher illiteracy rate compared to the East Asian and Pacific region in 2018.

The importance of literacy

The literacy rate indicates the percentage of people within a population who can read and write. This enables them to identify, understand and interpret materials with various contexts. Ensuring literacy for all pupils is a part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for quality education. This in turn stimulates economic and societal growth for the future.

Highest youth literacy rates in the Asia Pacific region in 2018, by country

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The data set takes into account youths between 15-24 years.

All data provided are UIS estimates.

The source does not provide a date of publication. The date used here is the date of last update.

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