What Is the Literacy Rate for the United Kingdom?

A 2013 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, placed England number 22 in literacy and number 21 in numeracy out of a survey of 24 countries. Interestingly, the United States placed 24th, while the Netherlands, Finland, Japan, Belgium and South Korea placed in the top five spots in the survey.

The survey, which studied people aged 18 to 24 in the countries of focus, seems to indicate the England is slipping behind its European and Asian neighbors, and the OECD suggests that this indicates a shrinking pool of skilled workers.

The study also showed that those aged 18 to 24 in England were no better in terms of literacy and numeracy than people in the 55- to 65-year-old range. The study also weighed other factors and suggests that the older workers in England have better results and are more literate than the group studied.

A total of 99 percent of the population of the United Kingdom are literate according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA defines literacy as the number of people age 15 and older who have completed 5 or more years of education. Female and male members of the population are equally literate in the U.K., and the rates of literacy for the U.K. and the U.S. are identical.