Ninety-four of every 100 Filipinos five (5) years old and over are basic literate in 2019, according to the results of the 2019 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS). Females posted higher basic literacy (94.5%) compared to males (93.2%). Across regions, the National Capital Region (NCR) registered the highest basic literacy rate at 97.6 percent, while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) had the lowest at 78.7 percent. By age group, population 15 to 19 years old had the highest basic literacy rate at 98.6 percent, while those belonging to the 5 to 9 age group had the lowest at 73.2 percent. (Table 1)
Population 10 years old and over in 2019 and 2013 registered the same basic literacy rate at 96.5 percent. In addition, the basic literacy rate among females (97.0%) remained higher than among males (96.1%). (Table 2)
Among Filipinos five (5) years old and over, those who were at least junior high school completer in the K-12 curriculum, or equivalently high school graduate in the old curriculum, had 100.0 percent or a very high basic literacy rate, while those with no grade completed or at most received early childhood education had the lowest recorded basic literacy rate at 40.1 percent.1(Tables 3, and 4)
Employed and unemployed Filipinos 15 years old and over had the same basic literacy rate at 96.1 percent. By class of worker, those who worked for government or any government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) had the highest basic literacy rate (99.3%) while those who worked without pay in own family-operated farm or business had the lowest (91.9%). (Table 5)
Filipinos five (5) years old and over who had access to electricity were reported to have higher basic literacy (94.4%) than those without access (82.1%). Likewise, those living in urban areas, with or without access to electricity, posted higher basic literacy rate (95.9% and 88.3%, respectively), compared with those in rural areas (92.5% and 79.1%, respectively). (Table 6)
The FLEMMS 2019 is a nationwide household-based survey and one of the designated statistical activities of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) by virtue of Executive Order 352.
1Due to sampling, crosstabulations that show 100 percent literacy rates that do not necessarily imply complete absence of illiteracy but could be an indication of a very high literacy rate.
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General