Canadian Literacy Facts and Figures:

Courtesy of the World Literacy of Canada Organisation

In Canada:

  • 48% of people over the age of 16 have low literacy. This amounts to approximately 12 million Canadians.
  • 42% of working-age Canadians (16-65 years) – about 9 million – have low literacy.
  • Five provinces and territories – Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec and Nunavut – have more people with low literacy, as compared to the national average.
  • Though literacy scores in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon are higher than the national average, 4 out of 10 people in these jurisdictions still fall in the low-literacy range.
  • Over one third of youth (16-25 years) struggle with low literacy.
  • 60% of immigrants have low literacy, compared to only 37% of native-born Canadians, despite the fact that immigrants, on average, have much higher levels of education than their native-born peers.

Source:  International Adult Literacy Skills Survey (IALSS)

(Statistics Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, US National Centre for Education Statistics, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2005)

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