The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) has announced that Egypt’s illiteracy rate decreased from 25.8% in 2017 to 24.6% in July 2019. It noted that the number of citizens termed “illiterate” stood at 18.4 million nationwide in 2019.
The agency pointed out that the illiteracy rate among Egyptian females stood at 30.8%, or 10.6 million, compared to the 21.1%, or 7.8 million, reported among Egyptian males.
Illiteracy rates in rural areas stood at 32.2% compared to urban areas, which accounted for 17.7% of illiteracy rates, according to the general population census in 2017.
CAPMAS indicated that Minya Governorate recorded the highest rates of illiteracy, at 37.2%, while the Red Sea Governorate recorded the lowest rate of illiteracy, at 12%. It pointed out that the total illiteracy rate among those with disabilities reached 5.69%, with the percentage in general being slightly higher among males than females.
The agency explained that 3% of those termed “illiterate” are able to use the computer and the Internet. The unemployment rates among illiterate citizens reached 2.2%, compared to the 16.7% unemployment rate reported among university graduates.
According to 2019 labour force research data, the disparity in employment figures between these two segments can be attributed to those termed illiterate accepting jobs regardless of the level of skill required, in contrast to those with higher qualifications.