Sex ratio of the literate population


Based on the report of the literacy of individuals it has been possible to calculate the sex ratio of the literate population. This is determined as the number of male literate persons per 100 female literate persons. Thus rates below 100 and in reddish colours indicate villages where more women than men are literate, whereas greenish colours show where more men are literate.

Looking first at the overall statistics presented in the National Population and Housing Census of 2005, the general literacy rate (72.7%) breaks down into 63.2% of females and 82.5% of males being literate.
When we look at the map presenting the sex ratio of the literate population aged ≥15, we see first and foremost that the sex-ratio of this population changes with the overall literacy rate (compare with Map 4.1). The lower the literacy rate, the greater is the predominance of men (≥200 literate men per 100 literate women). Conversely, only in regions where in general there are high literacy rates, do we find more balanced sex ratios (105 - 149 literate men per 100 literate women).

The different maps in this section show a spatial correlation between the geographical distribution of schools, school attendance and completion rates with higher percentages of literate women.
The map also shows a few pink areas (a higher ratio of literate women to men). These indications should be treated with care as it is possible that the sample of the total literate population was very small, which then resulted in extreme values when further split into men and women.

Besides the gender differences, it should be remembered that literacy also depends on many other important factors. For example urban women and men are generally much more literate (84.5 and 94.5% respectively) than rural women and men from regions without road access (41.1 and 67.6 % respectively). Furthermore, among younger women and men aged 15 to 24 not only is the literacy rate clearly higher but also the sex ratio is more balanced (76.1 and 89.7% respectively) than for older women and men aged 55 and above (35.5 and 75.5% respectively).

Finally, considerable discrepancies among ethno-linguistic groups further accentuate disparities in literacy. While 91.4% of Lao men are literate only 3.4% of Akha women can read and write Lao, which may again be the consequence of many factors other than ethnicity alone, e.g. the village location and the travel time to the nearest school.




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