Literacy and the Standard of
Living in Latin America
Unit 7 Notes
What is Literacy Rate?
A literate person is one who can read
Major factor in whether a person can
get a job and be successful in the
A country’s literacy rate is the
percentage of the population over age
15 that can read and write.
Literacy in Latin
The countries of Latin America have improved
the literacy rates of their people in the past
On average, 89% of Latin Americans are
– Unfortunately, this means that the
illiteracy rate is 11%.
The standard of living (“economic
level” achieved by a person, family, or
country) is often higher in countries
where the literacy rate is high.
High Literacy Rate = High Standard of Living
Boys Vs. Girls
In some Latin American cultures, it’s
more important for boys to have an
education than girls.
– They believe that it is not as important for
girls to learn to read/write as it is for boys.
Literacy Rates in the Region:
– Girls: 88% Boys: 91%
In some countries, the difference
between boys & girls is much larger.
The goal of every country is to have
100% literacy rates among its people.
One reason that many people cannot
read/write is that their communities
cannot afford to pay for teachers or
Many governments, missionaries, & aid
groups come to the poorest countries in
Latin America & are assisting the people
in educating their children.
Cycle of Poverty
Having basic reading & writing skills is very
– Without skills, workers are stuck in the lowest-
A cycle of poverty can develop when people cannot
get an education…
– Uneducated are forced to get low-paying jobs,
so they cannot get enough money to pay for
their children’s education…cycle continues for
The standard of living remains low for these
families because their education level is low