More than 130 million youths remain illiterate, according to U.N. report

Young people today are better educated than any previous generation, but 130 million youths are still illiterate, more than half a billion live on less than US$2 (Ђ1.70) a day, and a record 88 million are unemployed, according to a U.N. report.

The U.N. World Youth Report 2005 provides a snapshot of the 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 who are increasingly seeking the bright lights of cities, engaging in international activities, and becoming more influenced by the global media than by their own families and communities.

The report, produced by U.N. staff in collaboration with experts and young people, relied on the latest available global statistics from the United Nations, the World Bank and other sources, the AP reports.

But the 192-page report highlights the stark differences in the lives and opportunities of young people in poor African and Asian nations and richer Western countries.

Almost half of the world's 15- to 24-year-olds were living on less than US$2 a day, and over 200 million, about 18 percent, were trying to survive on less than US$1 a day in 2002 _ the vast majority in south Asia, east Asia and the Pacific, and sub-Saharan Africa, the report said. AM

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