The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has just published its eAtlas of Literacy online. This mine of information on literacy around the world provides a large number of easy-to-navigate interactive maps of the world's regions. Users can consult overall statistics as well as statistics broken down by population group (women, youth, etc.), zoom in on a particular country, and even find facts and figures going back to 1970s. The figures are complemented by explanatory texts.
The UNESCO eAtlas shows the countries whose populations lag the furthest behind in literacy: most countries in West Africa, the Central African Republic, and Afghanistan, where 68% of young women aged 15 to 24 can neither read nor write. Despite real progress achieved in recent years, more than 757 million people globally – two thirds of whom are women – lack basic literacy skills.