Every non south german in the Austrian Empire has the same literacy. In principle, not much of a problem. But every non south german also has the same literacy rates, from hungarians to serb and north germans, from catholics to protestants. But that's not exactly how it worked. So there was a major rework for literacy in the world, and sometimes this rework went all the way down to the state and province level. Here are some ramblings about it
For austria, data from census and maps are used coupled with sources from other places like books and papers.
I could give a long description of each but that's already in the changelog. Rest assured that all the multiethnic empires have literacy set by culture, including the ottoman and the russian empires.
In the United Kingdom, the main concern was in the isles. The colonies are usually illiterate, but the literacy varies in England, Scotland and Ireland. Pop literacy in Ireland will be based in region. Fortunately, the state shapes in Paradox fit perfectly, so I just work with an average for the region rounded 3 points down. I will probably toy around with forbidding encouraging clergy and bureaucrats NF in Ireland while the UK doesn't invest in the Irish.
Anyway, there are the numbers:
In England and Wales, the rates are 60% from vanilla's 55%. In Scotland, 80% from 55%. Irish: Munster Region 24%. Connacht: 15%. Ulster: 30%. Leinster: 28%. Pops in Dublin 7% more literate than others (based on the average of the regions that are Dublin now). Protestant Irish will be 5% more literate than the catholic counterparts. In vanilla, everyone was 10%.
Data for the french was harder to find despite the various censuses. But I put the data together and I got why Paradox got the number for France wrong. In vanilla, France starts with 60% literacy and the UK starts with 55%, but that usually falls to 43.3% because of the Irish. Scottish literacy should compensate, but it doesn't because Paradox didn't separate per culture or region. France, being homogeneous, doesn't lose much.
Anyway, I based the regional fluctuation in 2 maps, this being one of them. Now France is 5 points behind literacy from the UK.
Data in South America is harder to find while data for the USA was set per state based on the 1840 census data rounded and corrected down. Nevertheless, there are numbers to guide and in some cases like Brazil and Peru, the regional data is close enough to allow provincial or state setting of literacy.
While data in Spain was also set in state, according to data from the 1844 census and regional distrubution was based on regional maps.
These are just a few examples of the work done for the next update. I went to revise literacy all over civilized countries. There are new events, decisions and lots of tweaks. For example, I changed the slavery growth by event to allow situations like it happened in the CSA possible.
The base growth now is 0%, 4%, 4.4%, 4.8%, 6.2%, 6.6%, 8.0%, 8.4%, 8.8% and 10%. The intervals are the same (4, 5 and 6 years). During the event literacy for slave pops will now always drop by 8 points. This is to simulate the fact that the state didn't made any effort to educate the slaves while not making it completely impossible to do it. The results seem pretty good, the USA ended up with a good slave population and their literacy rate is way lower than their counterparts that were freed before.
The event will also only start firing after 1840 so it doesn't fire immediately after the game starts.
Finally, doing some work to relax, at first I was only correcting the misspellings in factories descriptions but I then decide to improve the descriptions. The description for the airplane factory was, for example, "Machine parts, electric gear and rubber are needed to produce aeroplanes.", which is basically a transcript of what you can already see with your eyes. I changed that, and all the factories description, to at least give you an idea of what is being done or how it's done.
But I ran over some 'mistakes'. Sometimes, the vanilla descriptions mentions other materials that are not used. For example, paper factory and the lumber mill read, respectively "A paper mill is using lumber to produce paper. Paper is used for books, newspapers and other means of information" and "In a lumber mill, timber is processed into lumber. Lumber can then be used for buildings, paper, ships or furniture."
But for example, timber is used for papers, not Lumber. And in vanilla. Lumber was barely used for anything, while the description makes it sound like Lumber was the one to be universally used. I already changed the use of Lumber in the past, and only paper remained using timber, but now I changed so everything uses lumber, and timber can only be processed in factories, like cotton.
Lastly, one of the problems with the literacy model in V2 is that it doesn't take into account completely illiterate societies - as in no written language, ever. The minimum literacy level is 1%. One can argue that a society without a written language can't be organized or complex, but it's not as simple as that. The Inca is a good example of society without written language, but complex.
As the literacy levels fell across all countries in the 1836 start date, I think there's a need to represent this kind of society. Egypt, for example, in its the first census in the 20th century had a male illiteracy of 98.7%. I can't force it to that level, but it means that the starting literacy should be the lowest possible (and that I should probably remove a good deal of the intellectuals from Sudan). But this means that in fact Egypt is as literate as the Zulu - which in itself is not a problem since both societies are virtually illiterate. The difference between then is that Egypt has a written language, while the Zulu doesn't. And while you can have a complex society without written language, you can't have a westernized society without it.
In the end, it means that in 1836 both societies are in a similar level to civilize, while there's a huge gap in learning between those.
Two solutions can be adopted, both with their own problems. On one hand, I could make the land uncolonized. But it would poorly represent conflicts, the ability to expand in their territory and honestly, it screws up everything else related to literacy and pops. Why? Pops in uncolonized land don't grow and always start with 10% literacy, where they should actually start at 1% because these places are inhabited by extremely primitive societies. In vanilla, this means that the Ottoman Empire, which starts at 4% literacy (the same as Sokoto) is usually worse off than the recently colonized land in Africa.
The second solution would be to stop literacy increase in these societies. Of course, this fucks gameplay. How to determine when a society makes the transition to the absence of written language to the codification of their language? In the case of Zulu, missionaries did the work and documented. But it obviously wasn't use nor taught, the literacy didn't increase.
In the end, I settled for a flag, a modifier and a decision. Illiterate societies can "adopt" a written system and lift restrictions over them to represent the society becoming a literate one.
Anyway, that's under testing so I know how well it will works. A lot of uncivs in Africa start with that, normally animist countries. Along other tweaks, landlocked uncivilized nations will not longer be able to take reforms related to ships and naval tradition and training in general. There was a rework of how pops select issues, I restored content from vanilla (pops now push for Two per State and Based on Population in the Upper House), I fixed a bug with countries with first past the post never pushing for Jefferson Method or the Proportional Representation along with other a couple of other tweaks for pops. For example, the AI used to suffer from a restriction to pop promotion for Intellectuals and Bureaucrats because of the way the AI deals with sliders and the way it affects these pops promotion. This has since then been fixed and the player will no longer have an advantage over the AI on these pops promotion.
That's all I remember that's coming for now. I don't remember if I spoke about Guantanamo Bay, the selling of the Danish Virgin Islands and the Omani provinces and territories work. If I didn't, consider it mentioned.