Guess Which Country is the Most Literate? Hint: It’s Not the U.S.


Finland is the most literate country in the world, followed by Norway and Iceland, according to an infographic by Global English Editing. The United States is ranked seventh.

“Literacy” refers to several characteristics, including number of libraries and newspapers, years of schooling, and availability of computers in a country. Global English Editing used 2016 statistics for its infographic.

Although the U.S. accounted for 30 percent of book sales, it wasn’t the most well-read country in the world. That honor belongs to India, followed by Thailand and China. Below are the highlights of the figures compiled by Global English Editing, which provides proofreading services.

Top 10 Most Literate Countries

  1. Finland
  2. Norway
  3. Iceland
  4. Denmark
  5. Sweden
  6. Switzerland
  7. United States
  8. Germany
  9. Latvia
  10. The Netherlands

Biggest Publishing Markets

  1. Unites States, 30 percent
  2. China, 10 percent
  3. Germany, 9 percent
  4. Japan, 7 percent
  5. France, 4 percent; United Kingdom, 4 percent

Top 10 Most Well-Read Countries

  1. India
  2. Thailand
  3. China
  4. Philippines
  5. Egypt
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Russia
  8. Sweden
  9. France
  10. Hungary

View Global English Editing’s infographic:  

Which Country Reads the Most? A Guide to Global Reading Habits

Read other stories about reading habits:

11 Things Only Bookworms Will Understand

Study: Reading Completion Rate for Books Correlates with Reader’s Age

Why Do We Buy Books? Let Me Count 8 Reasons