The Economic & Social Cost of Illiteracy – A snapshot of illiteracy in a global context
Final report from the World Literacy Foundation
24 August 2015 :: 18 pages
Over the years, there have been many attempts to place an economic value on the cost of illiteracy in various nations. There are disputes about the methodologies used to calculate such figures. But the fact remains that it costs the global economy more than USD $1 trillion dollars each year because up to one in five people worldwide struggle with illiteracy.
Functional illiteracy means a person may be able to read and write simple words, but cannot apply these skills to tasks such as reading a medicine label, balancing a chequebook, or filling out a job application.
Globally, more than 796 million people in the world cannot read and write. About 67 million children do not have access to primary school education and another 72 million miss out on secondary school education.
The findings of this final report include:
:: The cost of illiteracy to the global economy is estimated at USD $1.2 trillion.
::The effects of illiteracy are very similar in developing and developed countries. This includes illiterates trapped in a cycle of poverty with limited opportunities for employment or income generation and higher chances of poor health, turning to crime and dependence on social welfare or charity (if available)…