Nearly nine million Iranians are suffering from "absolute illiteracy" a news report compiled by Majles (Iranian parliament) Research Center (MRC) says.
Iran's population has risen to 82 million from less than 40 million four decades ago, but the country's economy is struggling with high rates of unemployment and poverty.
Statistics compiled by international organizations, such as UNESCO show that the number of "absolutely illiterate" people in the Islamic Republic is much higher, despite the implementation of three strategic plans for eradicating illiteracy in Iran.
Based on the World Bank statistics, nearly 65% of the population were literate in pre-Islamic Revolution (1979) in Iran (with the same rate in Turkey). The same rate in 2016 reached 85.5% in Iran, while in Turkey it was 96%.
Therefore, the World Bank assessment shows that 11.6 million absolute illiterate people are living in Iran, today.
UNESCO's statistics also show that 2% of under 24-year-old population of Iran are still suffering from absolute illiteracy, whereas the same rate in Turkey and Iran's northern neighbors, Republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkmenistan) is almost 0%.
Furthermore, updated statistics show that in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, 27%, 53%, and 48% of the youth respectively suffer from total illiteracy.
In March 2018, the head of Iran's Literacy Movement Organization, Ali Baqerzadeh told the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) that the number of absolute illiterate in the country was 8.8 million, and the number of semi-illiterates eleven million.
The border provinces of Iran are suffering from the highest rate of illiteracy.
Sistan&Baluchestan, Kurdestan, West Azarbaijan, Lorestan, and Ardabil respectively have the highest rate of illiteracy in the country.