SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's statistics agency has found that nearly 12 million people aged 15 or older were illiterate last year.

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics said in a report released Thursday that 11.8 million people, or 7.2 percent of the country's population, did not know how to read or write in 2016, compared to 8 percent a year prior.

The report also said that the illiteracy rate among black and mixed race Brazilians was 9.9 percent, which is more than double the 4.2 percent rate among whites.