Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn September 8, 1965, the United Nations first recognized International Literacy Day. Literacy is usually defined as having basic reading, writing, and math skills. According to the UN, “[l]iteracy is a right and a foundation for lifelong learning, better well-being, and livelihoods.”Literacy can be limited by restricted access to education. Literacy rates are often lower in the developing world than in developed nations. In many areas, girls do not attend schools as regularly as boys, and literacy rates for girls are lower.The idea of literacy is expanding. In fact, the UN sometimes talks about “literacies,” such as historical literacy, economic literacy, technological literacy, and cultural literacy.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry access Noun
ability to use.
learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.
developing world Noun
nations with low per-capita income, little infrastructure, and a small middle class.
a harmful condition of a body part or organ.
having to do with money.
condition of an organism's body and mind.
administration of law.
ability to read and write.
literacy rate Noun
percentage of a population able to read and write.
ability to economically support oneself.
substance used for treating illness or disease.
political unit made of people who share a common territory.
Encyclopedic Entry: nation quality Noun
characteristic or feature.
to identify or acknowledge.
specific freedom or opportunity granted to an individual or organization based on the law.
the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.
United Nations Noun
international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.