Literacy Statistics

Taken from “Canadian Literacy and Learning Network” website.

In Canada…

42% of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills.

55% of working age adults in Canada are estimated to have less than adequate health literacy skills. Shockingly, 88% of adults over the age of 65 appear to be in this situation

Impoverished adults often do not have the literacy skills required to get into job training programs. They may need literacy skills upgrading before they can succeed in training programs but only about 5 – 10% of eligible adults enroll in programs

Less than 20% of people with the lowest literacy skills are employed

A 1% increase in the literacy rate would generate $18 billion in economic growth every year

Investment in literacy programming has a 241% return on investment


International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS)

The latest literacy study by Statistics Canada shows that millions of Canadians do not have the literacy skills they need to keep pace with the escalating demands of our society and economy. This loss of potential impacts on the social and economic well-being of individuals, families, communities and our country.

The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALSS, 2003) sheds light on our current literacy challenges and also connects those challenges to some of Canada’s most pressing social and economic issues. The link is clear in this conclusion: “… investments in foundation skills would lead to improved levels of health, increased productivity, reduced social costs and higher growth”.