importance of literacy


What is literacy? Literacy can be defined as an ability to read and write at least one language with understanding. In simple words, if you can write and read the language that you speak, you will be considered a literate person. Literacy is an essential aspect of education and gaining knowledge. An illiterate person falls short of many things that the education industry has to offer. 

So why is literacy considered to be so important? How is it a detrimental factor in the development of society and the prosperity of an individual? Literacy is one of the most fundamental elements of education. The education industry is based on knowledge from books and other resources in the form of readable information. An illiterate person is deprived of such information because of his/ her inability to perceive these texts. Although experience plays a crucial role in developing the knowledge base of a person, the data from the written documents and books is unparalleled. 

In contemporary times, illiteracy is not just a shortcoming but a major hindrance towards success and development. All the devices that we use today are based on language, and it’s understanding. Unable to read and write in the current situation and significantly affect the quality of life of a person. Illiteracy is not just a problem at the individual level. Higher rates of illiteracy can affect credibility as well as the functionality of a nation. It is a conspicuous fact that some of the most developed countries of the world have a high density of literate and well-educated people. An illiterate society lags in various sectors of human development. Here are a few facts related to literacy:-

  1. Korea is the most literate country in the world, with a 100% literacy rate.
  2. India is very low in literacy position with approximately 74% literacy rate. About a third of illiterate people in the world are present in India. The main reason behind such staggering statistics is the massive population of the country. 
  3. Nearly 8000 students in the United States of America quit high school every year. Because of this, their ability to be a potential member of the workforce and financially contribute to the economy deteriorates.
  4. One in every four American children grows up under the lack of proper guidance to read.
  5. The health care industry in the United States of America incurs a loss of about 70 million dollars because of the low literacy rates in the country. 

Therefore, literacy is not just connected to an individual’s personal needs. It affects the development and prosperity of the whole society. Here are some essential ways in which literacy affects a country:-


Literate people have well-developed minds and a better understanding of things. They are better at handling finances, healthcare, and managing their overall life. They also possess higher skills and can secure better jobs that provide them security and higher socio-economic status. Educated and literate people are also able to make plans and backups by scanning various healthcare schemes available. Therefore, it is safe to assume that literate people have a better quality of life. 


Literacy produces a skilled workforce, which has a positive impact on the economy of the country. They can access and generate more jobs and services for other people. In a National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) survey conducted in the year 2009, it was found that the society with a higher literacy rate secures more economic gains for the individuals, which subsequently proliferated the economy of the country as a whole.


Literacy also affects the mortality rates of a nation. Mothers who had higher rates of literacy were more liable to keep their infant healthy and alive for five years of age. The mortality rates of the infants in a backward and illiterate society is very high. The nation-wide impact is also very significant. 


The literacy rate all around the globe is different in different countries. The countries in which individuals have a higher level of education are more prosperous and developed. Such a country has a better economy and a low population. Literacy has become a crucial factor in leading a good life in the contemporary age. The future of a country depends on its education level, and literacy is responsible for the same. 

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