This project identified indicators in the Youth Development Index that had the greatest impact on literacy rates. The results were then used to re-calculate the YDI, showing the impact of changing different indicators on the YDI.

The regression was done separately for developing and developed countries, as the results were different for these two groups. The initial theory was that the years of compulsory schooling would have a significant impact on literacy rates.

We found that in developing countries, the primary school completion rate was the most significant factor affecting literacy rates with a significance level of 1%. In developed countries, the student teacher ratio; and % parents with tertiary education were significant at the 10% level.

The years of compulsory schooling was also significant in developed countries at the 5% level, but the impact was higher years of compulsory schooling was associated with lower literacy rates. The reason for this may be that in countries with lower years of compulsory schooling, children are taught at home for longer, which may help increase literacy rates. Looking at age starting school, rather than years of schooling, might help explain this result.

The final report is available from the Commonwealth Secretariat. and is soon to be published in their Research reports.