I am looking for literacy rate of Eastern European countries for last 100 (or more) years. I am especially interested in Russia and Poland.

The only data I was able to find was OurWorldInData and some data on wolframalpha.com (for last 30 or so years).

  • Poland might be particularly tricky, as it didn't exist as a country twice during that period, and its borders changed drastically a couple of other times.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:02
  • I am aware of that. However I am hoping that partitioners kept some statistics for given provinces.
    – freefall
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Here is a chart of global literacy rates. Russia is toward the "bottom" (of developed countries), but still had a literacy rate of about 50% in 1900, rising sharply in the early 20th centuries. This put it above overall world levels.

In 1900, "Poland" was (mostly) part of "Russia," but was one of the most developed parts of the country, so its literacy rate would have been higher than Russia's.

  • In 1900, Poland was also part of Germany and Austria.
    – SPavel
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:26
  • @SPavel: "Most" of Poland was part of Russia, after it took over "Congress" Poland in 1815. But Austrian and Germany literacy rates were higher than Russia's, so the effect on Polish literacy would have been even stronger.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:42
  • Well, I've seen this plot and there are only three data points each for Poland and Russia. That's not enough. Also you've pointed exactly to the same page I've linked in my question... .
    – freefall
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 15:24
  • @freefall: You wrote in your question that your data was "(for last 30 or so years)." This one goes back over 100 years, not 30 or so. It's one of the "better" data sources around, possibly not the best.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 15:44
  • The 30 or so referes to wolphramalpha i.e. wolframalpha.com/input/?i=poland+literacy+rate
    – freefall
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 16:28

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