Lucas Vettorazzo, Folha de S.Paolo, December 22 2017
According to statistics released on Thursday (the 21st) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the number of illiterates in Brazil last year was 11.8 million.
The figure represents 7.2% of Brazilians who are 15 or older. The rate among blacks or people of mixed race was 9.9%, more than twice the rate when compared to whites (4.2%).
The statistics were collected for the education section of the Pnad household survey which is conducted throughout the entire country.
The institute has collected new data and expanded its coverage with regard to previous studies on illiteracy. A comparative analysis has yet to be released.
The unprecedented inclusion of a racial parameter led to findings demonstrating that in Brazil whites have more access to education than blacks. The study also identified a correlation between age and illiteracy.
The illiteracy rate among people who are 60 and over is the highest of all age groups, reaching 20.4%, or 6.07 million people.
The racial discrepancy also became apparent among elders. The illiteracy rate among blacks in the older age stratum was 30.7%, while the rate among their white counterparts was 11.7%
The upward trend in illiteracy among elders can be explained by the educational flaws of the past century.
The underlying reason for the discrepancy between blacks and whites is the fact that more blacks live in poorer parts of the country than whites.