Literacy Status Financial Details National Literacy Missio Directorate of Adult Education
 
 
Literacy Status
   
Literacy Status INDIA   1951-2001


Census Year

Persons

Male

Female

1951

18.33

27.16

8.86

 

1961

28.30

40.40

15.35

 

1971

34.45

45.96

21.97

 

1981

43.57

56.38

29.76

 

1991

52.21

64.13

39.29

 

2001

64.84

75.26

53.67

 

 
Literacy Scenario in India (As per 2001 Census)

Literacy in India has made amazing stride since Independence. This has been further established by the results of the Census 2001. The literacy speed has improved from 18.33% in 1951 to 64.84% in 2001. This is despite the truth that throughout the main part of the last five decades there has been exponential development of the population at nearly 2% per annum. The state-wise literacy rates are given below:  
 
LITERACY RATE 7+ POPULATION (CENSUS 2001)
 


S.No.

India/State/UT

 

Person

Male

Female

 

India

Total

64.84

75.26

53.67

 

 

Rural

58.74

70.70

46.13

 

 

Urban

79.92

86.27

72.86

01

JAMMU & KASHMIR

Total

55.52

66.60

43.00

 

 

Rural

49.78

61.65

36.74

 

 

Urban

71.92

80.00

61.98

02

HIMACHAL PRADESH

Total

76.48

85.35

67.42

 

 

Rural

75.08

84.51

65.68

 

 

Urban

88.95

92.04

85.03

03

PUNJAB

Total

69.65

75.23

63.36

 

 

Rural

64.72

71.05

57.72

 

 

Urban

79.10

83.05

74.49

04

CHANDIGARH

Total

81.94

86.14

76.47

 

 

Rural

75.58

80.98

66.37

 

 

Urban

82.64

86.78

77.40

05

UTTARANCHAL

Total

71.62

83.28

59.63

 

 

Rural

68.07

81.78

54.70

 

 

Urban

81.44

87.05

74.77

06

HARYANA

Total

67.91

78.49

55.73

 

 

Rural

63.19

75.37

49.27

 

 

Urban

79.16

85.83

71.34

07

DELHI

Total

81.67

87.33

74.71

 

 

Rural

78.05

86.60

67.39

 

 

Urban

81.93

87.39

75.22

08

RAJASTHAN

Total

60.41

75.70

43.85

 

 

Rural

55.34

72.16

37.33

 

 

Urban

76.20

86.45

64.67

09

UTTAR PRADESH

Total

56.27

68.82

42.22

 

 

Rural

52.53

66.59

36.90

 

 

Urban

69.75

76.76

61.73

10

BIHAR

Total

47.00

59.68

33.12

 

 

Rural

43.92

57.09

29.61

 

 

Urban

71.93

79.94

62.59

11

SIKKIM

Total

68.81

76.04

60.40

 

 

Rural

66.82

74.45

58.01

 

 

Urban

83.91

87.81

79.16

12

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Total

54.34

63.83

43.53

 

 

Rural

47.83

57.65

36.94

 

 

Urban

78.26

85.19

69.49

13

NAGALAND

Total

66.59

71.16

61.46

 

 

Rural

62.79

67.58

57.52

 

 

Urban

84.74

87.44

81.42

14

MANIPUR (Excl. 3 Sub-divisions)

Total

70.53

80.33

60.53

 

 

Rural

67.29

77.31

56.95

 

 

Urban

79.28

88.71

70.01

15

MIZORAM

Total

88.80

90.72

86.75

 

 

Rural

81.27

84.93

77.26

 

 

Urban

96.13

96.43

95.80

16

TRIPURA

Total

73.19

81.02

64.91

 

 

Rural

69.72

78.40

60.50

 

 

Urban

89.21

93.21

85.03

17

MEGHALAYA

Total

62.56

65.43

59.61

 

 

Rural

56.29

59.24

53.24

 

 

Urban

86.30

89.05

83.50

18

ASSAM

Total

63.25

71.28

54.61

 

 

Rural

59.73

68.22

50.70

 

 

Urban

85.34

89.74

80.24

19

WEST BENGAL

Total

68.64

77.02

59.61

 

 

Rural

63.42

73.13

53.16

 

 

Urban

81.25

86.13

75.74

20

JHARKHAND

Total

53.56

67.30

38.87

 

 

Rural

45.74

60.94

29.89

 

 

Urban

79.14

87.03

69.96

21

ORISSA

Total

63.08

75.35

50.51

 

 

Rural

59.84

72.93

46.66

 

 

Urban

80.84

87.93

72.87

22

CHHATTISGARH

Total

64.66

77.38

51.85

 

 

Rural

60.48

74.09

46.99

 

 

Urban

80.58

89.39

71.11

23

MADHYA PRADESH

Total

63.74

76.06

50.29

 

 

Rural

57.80

71.70

42.76

 

 

Urban

79.39

87.39

70.47

24

GUJARAT

Total

69.14

79.66

57.80

 

 

Rural

61.29

74.11

47.84

 

 

Urban

81.84

88.34

74.50

25

DAMAN & DIU

Total

78.18

86.76

65.61

 

 

Rural

75.83

84.83

59.33

 

 

Urban

82.31

91.12

73.41

26

DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI

Total

57.63

71.18

40.23

 

 

Rural

49.34

64.50

30.83

 

 

Urban

84.36

90.84

74.54

27

MAHARASHTRA

Total

76.88

85.97

67.03

 

 

Rural

70.36

81.93

58.40

 

 

Urban

85.48

91.03

79.09

28

ANDHRA PRADESH

Total

60.47

70.32

50.43

 

 

Rural

54.50

65.35

43.50

 

 

Urban

76.09

83.19

68.74

29

KARNATAKA

Total

66.64

76.10

56.87

 

 

Rural

59.33

70.45

48.01

 

 

Urban

80.58

86.66

74.12

30

GOA

Total

82.01

88.42

75.37

 

 

Rural

79.67

87.37

71.92

 

 

Urban

84.39

89.46

78.98

31

LAKSHADWEEP

Total

86.66

92.53

80.47

 

 

Rural

85.04

91.49

78.27

 

 

Urban

88.62

93.77

83.13

32

KERALA

Total

90.86

94.24

87.72

 

 

Rural

90.04

93.63

86.69

 

 

Urban

93.19

95.94

90.62

33

TAMIL NADU

Total

73.45

82.42

64.43

 

 

Rural

66.21

77.15

55.28

 

 

Urban

82.53

88.97

75.99

34

PONDICHERRY

Total

81.24

88.62

73.90

 

 

Rural

73.98

83.50

64.38

 

 

Urban

84.84

91.18

78.57

35

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

Total

81.30

86.33

75.24

 

 

Rural

78.70

84.14

72.26

 

 

Urban

86.57

90.65

81.47

Some of the chief highlights of Census 2001 are given below:  
 
1. The literacy rate in the country has increased to 64.84%, which reflects and generally increase of 12.63%, the fastest decadal increase ever. This is the highest rate since independence.  
 

2. The male literacy rate has increased to 75.26%, which shows an increase of 11.13%.   On the other hand, the female literacy of 53.67% has improved at a much faster rate of 14.38%.  
 
3. The male-female literacy gap has reduced from 24.84% in 1991 to 21.59% in 2001.   Mizoram has the smallest gap (3.97%) followed by Kerala (6.52%) and Meghalaya (5.82%).  

4. Every States and Union Territories without exception have shown increase in literacy rates through 1991-2001.  
 
5. In all the States and Union Territories the male literacy rate except Bihar (59.68%) is now over 60%.  
 
6. For the first time since independence there has been a decline in the absolute number of illiterates throughout the decade. In the previous decades, there has been a continuous increase in the number of illiterates, despite the increase in the literacy rates, but now for the first time the total number of illiterates has come down by 24.77 million.  
 
7. The number of literate persons has increased to 560.68 million in 2001 thus adding an additional 201.40 million literates in the country.  
 
8. Rajasthan has recorded the highest increase i.e.21.86% in the literacy rate among the States/UTs of India.   Literacy rate of Rajasthan in 7+ populations in 1991 was 38.55% which has increased to 60.41% in 2001.  

9. The state also recorded very good increase in the female literacy. It was 20.44% in 1991, which has increased to 43.85% in 2001.  
 
10. The female literacy rate of Chhattisgarh in 7+ populations in 1991 was 27.52% which has increased to 51.85% in 2001.Thus the rise in female literacy rate in Chhattisgarh has been to the extent of 24.33%, which is the chief among all the States/UTs of the country.  
 
11. Madhya Pradesh also recorded a good increase in female literacy rate i.e.20.94%.In 1991 the literacy rate of females was 29.35%, which has increased to 50.29% in 2001.
 
State Groupings  
     
On the basis of literacy rate, State/UTs can be grouped as under:  

1. High Literacy Rate (80% and above) – Kerala (90.86%), Mizoram (88.80%), Lakshadweep (86.66%), Goa (82.01%), Chandigarh (81.94%), Delhi (81.67%), A & N Islands (81.30%) and Pondicherry (81.24%).  

2. Literacy Rate above national average (64.8%) and below 80% - Daman & Diu (78.18%), Maharashtra (76.88%), Himachal Pradesh (76.48%), Tamil Nadu (73.45%), Tripura (73.19%), Uttaranchal (71.62%), Manipur (70.53%), Punjab (69.65%), Gujarat (69.14%), Sikkim (68.81%), West Bengal (68.64%), Haryana (67.91%), Karnataka (66.64%) and Nagaland (66.59%).  

3. Literacy Rate below national average (64.8%) – Chhattisgarh (64.66%), Madhya Pradesh (63.74%), Assam (63.25%), Orissa (63.08%), Meghalaya (62.56%), Andhra Pradesh (60.47%), Rajasthan (60.41%), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (57.63%), Uttar Pradesh (56.27%), Jammu & Kashmir (55.52%), Arunachal Pradesh (54.34%), Jharkhand (53.56%) and Bihar (47.00%).


Rural-Urban Gap (Literates) - Census 2001  (In million)


 

Persons

Male

  Female

All Areas

560.68
(64.8%)

336.53
(75.3%)

224.15
(53.7%)

Rural Areas

361.87
(58.7%)

223.55
(70.7%)

138.32
(46.1%)

Urban Areas

199.81
(79.9%)

113.98
(86.3%)

85.83
(72.9%)

SC

75.31
(54.69%)

47.43
(66.64%)

27.88
(41.90%)

ST

32.38
(47.10%)

20.56
(59.17%)

11.82
(34.76%)

Illiteracy Size:  
       
1. In terms of the size of illiteracy, eight States, viz. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh,     Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharastra had more than 15     million illiterates every accounted for 69.7 percent of the illiterate population of the     country.  
 
2. The first four of these states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are in     Hindi belt and have 42.76% illiterates.  
 
3. Number of non-literates in these States - Uttar Pradesh (58.85 million), Bihar (35.08     million), Rajasthan (18.15 million) and Madhya Pradesh (17.97 million).    
 
4. In Bihar the number of illiterates improved from 31.98 million in 1991 to 35.08 million in     2001.    
 
5. Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have 10.21 million and 6.10 million illiterates in 2001.  
 
6. It means that 48.12% of the non-literates reside in these six Hindi-speaking States.    
 
7. Other States having more than 10 million illiterates are: Orissa (11.61 million), Gujarat     (13.31 million) and Tamil Nadu (14.65 million).  
 
Total Population and Literacy in 15-35 age-groups (Census 2001)  

As per survey 2001, the total population of India in 15-35 age-group is 347.67 million, out of which 179.18 million were males and 168.49 million were females. The number of non-literates in this age-group was 100.74 million, out of which 66.78 million were females and 33.96 million were males.
 
Total Population in 15-35 age-groups

 


  

 

  TOTAL

 

  Age-group

  Persons

  Males

  Females

          1

2

3

4

5

 INDIA

 

 

 

 

 

  15-19

   100,215,890

  53,939,991

   46,275,899

 

  20-24

     89,764,132

  46,321,150

   43,442,982

 

25-29

     83,422,393

  41,557,546

   41,864,847

 

30-34

     74,274,044

  37,361,916

   36,912,128

 

15-35

   347,676,459

  179,180,603

  168,495,856

Literate Population in 15-35 Age-group


Age-group

Total

Males

Females

15-19

79,462,115

45,837,429

33,624,686

20-24

65,731,454

38,574,667

27,156,787

25-29

55,931,949

32,863,958

23,067,991

30-34

45,813,001

27,948,542

17,864,459

15-35

246,938,519

145,224,596

101,713,923

Literacy Rate

71.03%

81.04%

60.36%

   
Non-literate Population in 15-35 Age-group
 


Age-group

Total

Males

Females

15-19

20,753,775

8,102,562

12,651,213

20-24

24,032,678

7,746,483

16,286,195

25-29

27,490,444

8,693,588

18,796,856

30-34

28,461,043

9,413,374

19,047,669

15-35

100,737,940

33,956,007

66,781,933

Female Literacy
The survey 2001 final report specify that India has made significant progress in the field of literacy throughout the decade and since the 1991 survey. The literacy rate as per 2001 census is 64.84% as against 52.21% in 1991, whereas the female literacy had increased by 14.4 percentage points i.e. from 39.3% in 1991 to 53.7% in 2001.   Out of 864.79 million people in 7+ age group, 560.68 million are at present literate out of which 224.15 million are women. Three-fourths of the male population and more than half of the female population are literate. The trends in literacy rate since 1951 are given below:  



Literacy Rates in India (1951-2001)

Census Year

Persons

Male

Female

Male-female gap in literacy rate

1951

18.33

27.16

8.86

18.30

1961

28.30

40.40

15.35

25.05

1971

34.45

45.96

21.97

23.98

1981

43.57

56.38

29.76

26.62

1991

52.21

64.13

39.29

24.84

2001

64.84

75.26

53.67

21.59

It is noticed that the female literacy rate throughout the period 1991-2001 increased by 14.38% whereas male literacy rose only by 11.13%.
 
The salient points relating to female literacy are:  

  • The gap in male-female literacy rates has decreased from 24.8 percentage points in 1991 to 21.6 percentage points in 2001.  

  • Kerala registered highest female literacy rate at 87.72% while Bihar registered the lowest at 33.12%.  

  • For the first time there is a decline in total number of non-literates. The number of illiterates has reduced from 328 million in 1991 to 304 million in 2001.  

  • Throughout 1991-2001, the population in 7+age group increased by 171.6 million while 203.6 million additional persons became literate throughout that period.  

  • Out of 864.79 million people above the age of 7 years, 560.68 million are now literate.  
  • Each states and union territories without exception have shown increase in literacy rates throughout 1991-2001.  

  • Kerala continues to have the highest literacy rate of 90.86% in the country with 94.24% literacy rates for males and 87.72% for females.  

  • Bihar registered a minimum increase of 8.52 percentage points from 38.48% to 47.00%.

 
Status of Literacy Among SCs and STs  

As per the 2001 survey, the literacy rate of Scheduled Castes population aged 7 years and above was 54.69 per cent.  The male and female literacy rate being 66.64 per cent and 41.90 per cent. The literacy rate of Schedule Caste has improved from 37.41% in 1991 to 54.69% in 2001 (an increase of 17.28%). The increase in overall literacy rate of the country for all persons is 12.63%, whereas increase in literacy rate of scheduled caste through the decade is 17.28%. There are 62.4 million SC illiterates out of which 62% (38.7 million) are females. About 47.5 million SC illiterates (76.1%) are residing in the following eight states: Uttar Pradesh (15 million), Bihar (7.2 million), West Bengal (6.4 million), Andhra Pradesh (4.9 million), Rajasthan (3.7 million), Karnataka (3.4 million), Madhya Pradesh (3.1 million) and Tamil Nadu (3.8 million). About 1/3rd of the Schedule Caste illiterates were residing in Hindi speaking low literacy states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
 
The literacy rate of Schedule Tribes has increased by 17.50% in 2001 (47.10%) from 29.60% in 1991. The increase in generally literacy rate of the country for all persons is 12.63%, where as increase in literacy rate of scheduled tribe through the decade is 17.50%. The male and female literacy rates being 59.17% and 34.76% respectively. The increase in ST female literacy rate increased by   16.57 per cent in a decade. There are 36.4 million ST illiterates in India out of which 21.2 million being female forming 61 per cent of the total ST illiterates. The following are the states having more than 3 million Schedule Tribe illiterates population: Madhya Pradesh (5.7 million), Orissa (4.2 million), Chhatisgarh (3.8 million), Jharkhand (3.4 million), Gujarat (3.2 million), Maharashtra (3.1 million) and Rajasthan (3.1 million). The number of Schedule Tribes illiterates in these seven states was 26.5 million, which is 73 per cent of the total Schedule Tribe illiterates in the country.
 
Bihar is the state having lowest female schedule castes and schedule tribes literacy rate i.e. 15.58 per cent and 15.54 per cent respectively.
 
Analysis of the NSSO Sample Survey Data on Literacy
 
Apart from census conducted each ten years by the Registrar General and Census chief of India. National Sample Survey organization (NSSO) also conducts all India household sample surveys on Consumer Expenditure and Employment and Unemployment. It takes samples of about 40,000 households (small sample) each year and a sample of about 1,20,000 households (large sample) every five years. These reports also collect some data on literacy.
The report on the basis of 61st round (2004-05) provides data on literacy rates of age group 7 and above at all India level is now available. Literacy rates for the country as exposed by this report are as under:

Area

61st Round (2004-2005)* July 2004-June 2005

All Areas

 

Persons

67.3

Male

77.0

Female

57.0

Rural Areas

 

Persons

61.9

Male

72.7

Female

50.6

Urban Areas

 

Persons

82.7

Male

88.8

Female

75.9

Source - derived from Table 2 of the report

  Background

Review of the National Adult Education

Literacy Status

National Literacy Mission

Programmes under National Literacy Mission

NLM – An Assessment

Financial Details

Goals for the XI Plan

Officers of National Literacy Mission

Directorate of Adult Education
 
   
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