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LIT1 (V108)
Reported literacy

Codes and Frequencies



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Description

LIT1 (V108) indicates whether the woman could read. This information was obtained in response to the question, "Can you read a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" In many countries, persons with secondary or higher levels of schooling were presumed to "read easily," but coding criteria varied across countries. Simply asking women whether and how easily they could read was the approach used to determine literacy in DHS Phases 1-3.

Beginning in Phase 4, a different approach was employed to determine literacy. See LIT2 (V155) for details about that second approach, which involved having the respondent read a sentence aloud. See LITBRIG for information about using the data on literacy across all phases of the DHS.

Comparability — Index

GENERAL
Bangladesh
Chad
Egypt
Jordan
Morocco
Namibia
Nepal
Pakistan
Senegal
South Africa
Yemen
Zimbabwe

Comparability

LIT1 (V108) has some potentially significant variation in question wording. About half of surveys add the phrase "in any language" when asking about literacy. Users concerned with the addition of this wording should consult the Survey Text tab.

A small number of surveys (noted below) depart from the standard question wording in not distinguishing between reading easily or with difficulty. IPUMS-DHS uses composite coding for LIT1 to maximize comparability across samples. All affirmative responses about reading sharing a common first digit of "1," and the distinction between "reads with difficulty (code 11)" and "reads easily (code 12)" is preserved in the second digit.

Comparability - Standard DHS
LIT1 (V108) is included in the standard DHS questionnaire for phases I through III.

LIT1 is replaced with a similar indicator, LIT2, based on reading a passage aloud in phase IV forward.

Comparability — Bangladesh [top]

The 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2004 Bangladesh surveys ask, "Can you read and write [emphasis added] a letter in any language easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" This is a somewhat more demanding definition of literacy than the ability to read, and it may limit comparability with other samples.

Comparability — Chad [top]

The 1996 Chad survey asks, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added]

Comparability — Egypt [top]

The Egypt 1988 survey asks, "Can you read a newspaper, a magazine or a letter, for example?"

Comparability — Jordan [top]

The 1990 Jordan survey asks, "Can you read and understand any written material easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added] The 1997 Jordan survey asks, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added]

Comparability — Morocco [top]

The 1992 Morocco survey asks, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added]

Comparability — Namibia [top]

The 1992 Namibia survey asks, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added]

Comparability — Nepal [top]

The 1996 Nepal survey asks, " Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper?" and it does not distinguish between reading easily and with difficulty.

Comparability — Pakistan [top]

The 1991 Pakistan survey asks, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added]

Comparability — Senegal [top]

The 1992 and 1997 Senegal surveys ask, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper easily, with difficulty, or not at all?"

Comparability — South Africa [top]

The 1998 South Africa survey asks, "Can you read and understand a letter or newspaper in your home language easily, with difficulty, or not at all?" [emphasis added]

Comparability — Yemen [top]

The 1991 Yemen survey asks, "Can you read a letter or newspaper?" and it does not distinguish between reading easily and with difficulty.

Comparability — Zimbabwe [top]

The Zimbabwe 1988 survey asks, "Can you read a letter or newspaper in any language?"

Universe

  • Bangladesh 1994: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 1997: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 2000: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Bangladesh 2004: Ever-married women age 10-49.
  • Benin 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Burkina Faso 1993: All women age 15-49.
  • Burkina Faso 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Burundi 1987: All women age 15-49.
  • Cameroon 1991: All women age 15-49.
  • Cameroon 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Chad 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 1994: All women age 15-49.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 1988: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 1992: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Egypt 1995: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 1988: All women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 1993: All women age 15-49.
  • Ghana 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Guinea 1999: All women age 15-49.
  • India 1992: Ever-married women age 13-49.
  • India 1998: Ever-married women age 15-49 whose highest education level was primary school.
  • Jordan 1990: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Jordan 1997: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Kenya 1989: All women age 15-49.
  • Kenya 1993: All women age 15-49.
  • Kenya 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Liberia 1986: All women age 15-49.
  • Madagascar 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Madagascar 1997: All women age 15-49.
  • Malawi 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 1987: All women age 15-49.
  • Mali 1995: All women age 15-49.
  • Morocco 1987: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Morocco 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Mozambique 1997: All women age 15-49.
  • Namibia 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Nepal 1996: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Niger 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Niger 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Nigeria 1990: All women age 15-49.
  • Nigeria 1999: All women age 10-49.
  • Pakistan 1991: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Rwanda 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 1986: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Senegal 1997: All women age 15-49.
  • South Africa 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • Sri Lanka 1987: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Sudan 1989: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 1991: All women age 15-49.
  • Tanzania 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Tunisia 1988: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Yemen 1991: Ever-married women age 15-54.
  • Zambia 1992: All women age 15-49.
  • Zambia 1996: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 1988: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 1994: All women age 15-49.
  • Zimbabwe 1999: Women age 15-49 who have no education or whose highest level of education was primary school.
  • Bangladesh: 1994-C, 1994-W, 1994-B, 1994-W, 1997-C, 1997-W, 1997-B, 1997-W, 2000-C, 2000-W, 2000-B, 2000-W, 2004-C, 2004-W, 2004-B, 2004-W
  • Benin: 1996-W, 1996-C, 1996-B
  • Burkina Faso: 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Burundi: 1987-C, 1987-B, 1987-W
  • Cameroon: 1991-W, 1991-C, 1991-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Chad: 1996-W, 1996-B, 1996-C
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 1994-W, 1994-C, 1994-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Egypt: 1988-W, 1988-C, 1988-B, 1992-W, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1995-W, 1995-W, 1995-C, 1995-B
  • Ghana: 1988-W, 1988-C, 1988-B, 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Guinea: 1999-W, 1999-C, 1999-B
  • India: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Jordan: 1990-W, 1990-C, 1990-B, 1990-W, 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 1997-W
  • Kenya: 1989-W, 1989-C, 1989-B, 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Liberia: 1986-W, 1986-C, 1986-B
  • Madagascar: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B
  • Malawi: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B
  • Mali: 1987-W, 1987-C, 1987-B, 1995-W, 1995-C, 1995-B
  • Morocco: 1987-W, 1987-C, 1987-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-W, 1992-B
  • Mozambique: 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B
  • Namibia: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B
  • Nepal: 1996-W, 1996-C, 1996-B
  • Niger: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B
  • Nigeria: 1990-W, 1990-C, 1990-B, 1999-W, 1999-C, 1999-B
  • Pakistan: 1991-W, 1991-C, 1991-B
  • Rwanda: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B
  • Senegal: 1986-B, 1986-W, 1986-C, 1992-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1997-B, 1997-W, 1997-C
  • South Africa: 1998-B, 1998-W, 1998-C
  • Sri Lanka: 1987-W, 1987-C, 1987-B
  • Sudan: 1989-B, 1989-W, 1989-C
  • Tanzania: 1991-B, 1991-W, 1991-C, 1996-B, 1996-W, 1996-C
  • Tunisia: 1988-W, 1988-C, 1988-B
  • Yemen: 1991-B, 1991-W, 1991-C
  • Zambia: 1992-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1996-B, 1996-W, 1996-C
  • Zimbabwe: 1988-B, 1988-W, 1988-C, 1994-B, 1994-W, 1994-W, 1994-C, 1999-B, 1999-W, 1999-W, 1999-C