Literacy rate in India touches 77.7% – Kerala tops, Andhra at the bottom

~ Trinanjan Chakraborty

The 75th round of the National Statistical Survey conducted by the National Statistical Office revels that literacy among individuals aged 7 & above stood at 77.7% for the time period July 2017 – June 2018. The 2011 population census had reported all India literacy rate at 74.04%. The NSS 75th round revealed that while urban literacy was 87.7%, rural literacy stood at 73.5%. Gender-wise, a big disparity exists with literacy among males (7 years & above) being 84.7% while the same among females standing at 70.3%. In rural areas 46.1% of males and 40.7% of females in the 3 – 35 years age-group were currently attending an educational institution. The same figures for urban areas was 46.7% (M) and 42.6% (F).

Completed educational levels in Urban and Rural among individuals aged 15 & above:

(Total >100.0% due to decimal approximation)

However, a big disparity exists across states in terms of literacy.

State wise literacy rate among 7 years and above (figs in %) – for large states
(excluding N/E and UTs except NCT of Delhi)

While Kerala is at no 1 on both male and female literacy with only 3.8% of population aged 7 years & above reported as “Illiterate”, Andhra Pradesh at the other extreme, has nearly 2/3rd of its population of the same age group as “Illiterate.” While male literacy is lowest in Andhra among all states (73.4%), in female literacy, Rajasthan is at the bottom (only 57.6% literate). In what would be a cause of concern, the literacy rate is well below the national average in some of India’s largest and most populous states like Andhra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Telangana and UP (the bottom 5) with Madhya Pradesh at 6th from bottom.

Top 5 states in terms of highest completed education as “Graduate & above” among 15 years or above population:

Delhi – 24.7% | Uttarakhand – 18.7% | Telangana – 15.8% | Kerala – 14.9% | Haryana – 14.8%

Bottom 5 states in terms of highest completed education as “Graduate & above” among 15 years or above population:

Jharkhand – 5.3% | Bihar – 6.0% | Assam – 6.2% | Odisha – 7.0% | Chhattisgarh – 7.2%


At an all India level, 10.7% households (U+R) owned a personal computer while 23.8% had access to internet facility during the survey year, according to the survey results. Computer ownership and internet facility was 23.4% and 42.0% respectively in urban while the same stood at 4.4% and 14.9% in rural households. Among the states, Delhi topped the charts on both – with 34.9% computer ownership and 55.7% internet facility while Odisha was at the bottom on both – just 4.3% computer ownership and 10.0% internet facility.

All India, 16.5% in the age group of 5 years and above claimed to be proficient in handling a computer – 32.4% in Urban and 9.9% in Rural.

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