Illiteracy among Children Aged 7 to 9 Doubles in Brazil after the Pandemic

According to Unicef, a groundbreaking study shows that 31.9 million children and adolescents in the country are deprived of some rights, such as education, housing, and income

São Paulo

The proportion of Brazilian children aged 7 to 9 who cannot read or write has doubled between 2019 and 2022 in the country. In that year, 20% of 7-year-old children were illiterate. In 2022, after two years of pandemic and restricted access to regular classes, the percentage rose to 40%. Among those aged 8 and 9, 8.5% and 4.4% were illiterate four years ago, respectively.

And in 2022, the proportion of those who could not read or write was 20.8% among those aged 8 and 9.5% among those aged 9. The data comes from the continuous Pnad (National Household Sample Survey), from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), and is part of a groundbreaking study on multidimensional poverty in childhood and adolescence elaborated by Unicef, the United Nations' branch for children.

The study is based on two premises: poverty has multiple dimensions, and children and adolescents should be prioritized in the country's public policies. Article 227 of the Constitution determines that children and adolescents must have "absolute priority" in guaranteeing their rights.

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