The total number of literate people in a given age group is expressed as a percentage of the total population in that age group.
Literacy rates continue to rise from one generation to the next. According to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there are still 750 million illiterate adults, and two-thirds of them are women.
These numbers are a stark reminder of the work ahead to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 and 5 and the Education 2030 targets.
Literacy rate variations between States in India
- India’s India’s literacy rate is 74.04%
- Kerala achieved a literacy rate of 93.91%
- The lowest is in Bihar, with a literacy rate of 63.82%.
Several other social indicators of the two states are correlated with these rates, such as:
- Life expectancy at birth (71.61 for males and 75 for females in Kerala, 65.66 for males and 64.79 for females in Bihar)
- Infant mortality per 1,000 live births (10 in Kerala, 61 in Bihar), the birth rate per 1,000 people (16.9 in Kerala, 30.9 in Bihar) and death rate per 1,000 people (6.4 in Kerala, 7.9 in Bihar).
Six Indian states account for about 70% of all illiterates in India: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal.
Slightly less than half of all Indian illiterates (48.12%) are in the six Hindi-speaking states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.
Tripura literacy success
Presently Tripura has the highest literacy rate in India, 94.65 per cent. According to the 2011 census, the literacy level was 93.91 per cent in Kerala and 91.58 per cent in Mizoram, among the most literate states in the country.
The national literacy rate, according to the 2011 census, was 74.04 per cent. The Tripura success story is attributed to the involvement of local government bodies, including gram panchayats, NGOs, and local clubs under the close supervision of the State Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA) headed by the chief minister.
Tripura attained 87.75 per cent literacy in the 2011 census, from the 12th position in the 2001 census to the 4th position in the 2011 census. Among projects implemented by the state government to increase literacy in the state are 10,000 Anganwadi centres with 100 per cent enrolment.
The policy of no-fail till class VIII to prevent children from dropping out. Midday meals in all schools with an eclectic menu for all days of the week to attract more students.
No tuition fees in government colleges.
The holistic education system, implemented with equal interest in Agartala, remote areas, and the tribal autonomic areas, emphasises that people in Tripura do not just become literate but educated.
One pointer to the government’s interest in education is the near-total absence of child labour in Tripura.