Peru’s 2016 survey reveals that literacy rates are showing improvement throughout the country.
A recent press release by Peru’s National Statistics office (INEI) reports that Peru’s literacy rate (of ages 15 years and up) stands at 94.1% overall.
The most significant demographic to show increase is that of women, rising from 86.2% to 91% literacy from 2006 to 2016. Men have risen from 95.4% to 97.1%.
The gap between men and women is most startling when we compare urban and rural rates. In urban areas, 94.5% of women and 98.2% of men are literate; in rural areas, 76.6% of women and 93.2% of men meet the standard.
Literacy is significantly lower in those who speak Quechua or other indigenous languages, at 83.8% compared to 96.5% in those who speak Spanish.
One encouraging revelation is that 99.1% of youth between the ages of 15 and 19 can read and write. Literacy rates are lowest in the age range of 60 and older (80.8%).
Thus, Peru is seeing a transition to becoming a thoroughly literate nation should this trend continue. However, it also points to the demographic that is most vulnerable in Peru.
Older, rural women who speak native languages appear to be the most prone to illiteracy. This is based on many factors including economic means, accessibility to services, traditional gender roles, and limited opportunities.
However, illiteracy does not mean lack of talent. Peru’s sustainable fashion industry is one area where some indigenous women have found opportunity for their skills.