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Illiterate Young Men Surplus

Map No.


This map shows the number of young men that would need to be educated to reach the same literacy rates as young women in each territory.

The biggest gaps between male and female literacy are in Bangladesh, the Philippines and Brazil. In Bangladesh, when the number of illiterate girls is subtracted from illiterate boys, the result is almost 1 million ‘extra’ boys who cannot read or write; which is roughly 6% of all men aged 15-24 there.

The most ‘extra’ male illiteracy in Africa it is in Kenya, Guinea and South Africa; in Eastern Europe it is in Ukraine and Hungary; in South America it is in Colombia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial - ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For any commercial use (including in publishing) a map use license needs to be obtained.

Technical Notes

Territory size is proportional to the number of illiterate males aged 15 to 24 years, minus the number of illiterate females that age in the same territory in the year 2015. Only territories with greater male illiteracy have an area.

Data sources
This map uses data from the 2016 United Nations Human Development Report and population estimates from the 2017 World Population Prospects (last accessed March 2018). We aim to map as complete data as possible and therefore estimate data for missing values. In some cases, missing data for very small territories is not used in the cartogram and that area is therefore omitted in the map.

Further notes on the data, as well as all modifications to the original data source are noted in our data sheets. Data for this map will soon be available as a download.

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