The literacy rate in India is one of the major factors for socio-economic progress in addition to academic achievement. A literate person is a vital asset to the nation’s development. According to the report published by the National Survey of India, the Literacy Rate of India in 2021 is 77.7 per cent. The literacy rate in 2011 was 73%. There is an increase of 4% in 2021 compared to the last census data. Kerala is the Most literate state in India. The literacy rate of Kerala is 96.2%. As per UNESCO, India will achieve Universal Literacy in the year 2060.
|Literacy Rate of India in 2021||77.7%|
|Male literacy rate of India in 2021||84.7%|
|Female literacy rate of India in 2021||70.3%|
The male literacy rate of India is 84.7% and female it is 70.3%. The gap between the literacy rates of males and females remains grave. Girls dropping out of schools increased due to economic difficulties. With the launch of many female literacy campaigns, the gender gap could narrow in the coming years.
|Literacy Rate in Urban Areas||87.7%|
|Literacy Rate in Rural Areas||73.5%|
The literacy rate is 87.7% in urban places and 73.5% in rural.
Kerala achieved the highest literacy rate of 96.2% in India, followed by Delhi (88.7%). Kerala has the highest female literacy rate (95.2%) in India, and Lakshadweep had the highest male literacy rate.
Andhra Pradesh has India’s lowest literacy rate of 67.35%. Rajasthan has the lowest male literacy rate in India and Bihar has the lowest female literacy rate.
|Highest Literacy State in India||Kerala – 96.2%|
|Lowest Literacy State in India||Andhra Pradesh – 67.35%|
|Highest Male Literacy State in India||Lakshadweep|
|Highest Female Literacy State in India||Kerala|
|Lowest Male Literacy State in India||Rajasthan|
|Lowest Female Literacy State in India||Bihar|
On 8 September, International Literacy Day is celebrated around the world every year. The global literacy rate is estimated to be 86.5 per cent by UNESCO.
Highest Literate Rate in India 2021 (Statewise)
The Most literate state in India is Kerala, with the rate of 96.2%
Lowest Literate Rate in India 2021 (Statewise)
The worst literate state in India is Andhra Pradesh, with the rate of 66.4%
Definition of Literacy Rate
According to the definition provided in the Indian census, Literacy is defined as “acquiring the skills of reading, writing with understanding”. Anyone aged 7 or above with the ability to read and write at least in any one language is considered a literate person.
UNESCO and National Literacy Mission have their own definition of literacy.
How to Calculate Literacy Rate
The literacy rate is the average number of literates in a particular place or group.
Literacy Rate = (number of literate persons / population) * 100
*Persons aged 7 or above
Number of illiterates = 100 – literacy rate
Illiteracy in India
Illiteracy means the inability to read and write. There are many factors for illiteracy.
Main Factors of Low Literacy Rate in India
- Extensive impoverishment
- Lack of importance to education
- Unavailability of schools
- Classroom shortage for students
- No proper sanitation in many schools
- No drinking water facility
- No toilet facility
- Dropouts due to discrimination of lower castes
- Gender inequality
Census of India – Historic Literacy Rates
Kerala Literacy Rate
Kerala is the highest literate state in India and topping the Education Development Index (EDI). In Kerala, the majority of the rural population has access to a primary school within a small distance. Subsidized transport fares are available for all students, mainly from rural areas. After the Indian independence, every government of Kerala have taken many steps to boost literacy in the state.
In 1980, the government of Kerala started a campaign for total literacy in Ernakulam district, which was successful and replicated the campaign to other districts of the state. Kerala State Literacy Campaign was launched by the state for the literacy program. Special attention was given to areas that needed more progress. For the successful execution of the state’s literacy program, officials and volunteers were involved.
Bihar Literacy Rate
Bihar is one of the lowest literate states in India. According to the 2011 census, 63.8% is the literacy rate of Bihar. But in the 2001 census, the state had only 47%. Hence, there is a significant increase in the literacy rate of Bihar. Many programs were launched by the government to boost literacy rates.
Poverty, social divisions, caste discrimination are some of the hurdles that affect the literacy programs in Bihar. So, the students cannot afford to buy textbooks and stationery things, and that leads them to work on the farms. Teacher absenteeism is another main issue faced by the schools in Bihar.
Source: National Survey of India, India Census
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