Finland is the world’s most literate nation, according to new research, with the UK coming in 17th, behind countries including the US, Canada and Australia.
Home to Tove Jansson, the author of the much-loved Moomin books, and awidely praised education system, Finland topped a table of world literacy in a new study conducted by John Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The research looked at literacy achievement tests and also at what it called “literate behaviour characteristics” – everything from numbers of libraries and newspapers to years of schooling and computer availability in the countries.
Rather than measuring a country’s ability to read, the World’s Most Literate Nations says it ranks nations on their “literate behaviours and their supporting resources”. It set out to look at data from 200 countries, drawing from sources ranging from Unesco to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but only 61 made the final cut, “due to lack of relevant statistics”. Population was also considered, to give per capita ratios.
The Nordic countries dominated the top of the charts, with Finland in first place and Norway in second, and Iceland, Denmark and Sweden rounding out the top five. Switzerland followe in sixth, with the US in seventh, Canada in 11th, France in 12th and the UK in 17th place. Botswana was last, in 61st place, behind Indonesia in 60th and Thailand in 59th. Read more