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International Literacy Day 2020: Which State has the Most Educated Population

Literacy rate in India: Statistics from a recent report on education suggest that literacy rates in some ‘developed’ states are lower than other “under developed” states. In Kerala, 96.2 percent of the population is literate and remains the first in the country.

Andhra Pradesh has the Lowest Literacy Rate

If you are asked which of the states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Karnataka have the highest literacy rate, what would you answer? If you took the name of a southern state, you will be proved wrong and that too with a big margin. As per the recent report on the education of the National Statistical Office (NSO), it seems that at least in terms of literacy, the status of ‘developed states’ is not as good as it is supposed to be. The truth is that Andhra Pradesh has a literacy rate of 66.4%, which is the lowest among all states of India. 70.9% of the population is literate in Bihar while 72.8% in Telangana. The literacy of these three states is less than the national average literacy rate of 77.7%.

Of the above six states, the figures of Assam and Uttarakhand can embarrass all these large states. In Karnataka, where 72.2% people are literate, in Assam more than 85.9% of the population is educated. Uttarakhand has a literacy rate of 87.6% which is lower than only Kerala and Delhi in the big states.

Kerala is Miles Ahead of Other States

This data from the NSO is for 2017-18 and is for those above the age of 7 years. Kerala remains the most literate state in the country, with 96.2% of its population being literate. The great thing is that the literacy gap between men and women is only 2.2 percent. While at the national level, this gap is 14.4 percent points. 84.7% of men in India are educated while only 70.3% of women are literate.

Big Difference in literacy of Men and Women

The literacy figures in urban and rural areas are more or less the same. In Kerala, there is a difference of just 1.9 percentage between these two areas. The literacy of the urban population of Telangana is 23.4 % higher than the rural areas, where as in Andhra Pradesh, the difference is 19.2 %. If we combine gender and urban-rural figures, a very worrying picture emerges. There is a huge difference of 27.2 % between urban male literacy and rural female literacy. These figures are worse in the states of Rajasthan; the difference is 38.5% (91.1 vs 52.5%) while in Telangana it is 38% (91.7 vs 53.7%).

There are only four states in the country where male literacy in cities is less than 90 percent. No state has less than 85% literacy. In contrast, more than 80% of literate women are from Kerala only. Female literacy is less than 70 percent in 13 of the 22 major states in the country. In four of these, it is less than 60%.

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