Know India
This page in Hindi (External website that opens in a new window)

Literacy

For the purpose of census 2001, a person aged seven and above, who can both read and write with understanding in any language, is treated as literate. A person, who can only read but cannot write, is not literate. In the censuses prior to 1991, children below five years of age were necessarily treated as illiterates.

The results of 2001 census reveal that there has been an increase in literacy in the country. The literacy rate in the country is 64.84 per cent, 75.26 for males and 53.67 for females. Kerala retained its position by being on top with a 90.86 per cent literacy rate, closely followed by Mizoram (88.80 per cent) and Lakshadweep (86.66 per cent).

Bihar with a literacy rate of 47.00 per cent ranks last in the country preceded by Jharkhand (53.56 per cent) and Jammu and Kashmir (55.52 per cent). Kerala also occupies the top spot in the country both in male literacy with 94.24 per cent and female literacy with 87.72 per cent. On the contrary, Bihar has recorded the lowest literacy rates both in case of males (59.68 per cent) and females (33.12 per cent).

Ranking of States/UTs by Literacy Rate Among Persons, Males and Females, 2001 Census
  Persons Male Female
Rank State/UTs Literacy Rate State/UTs Literacy Rate State/UTs Literacy Rate
1. Kerala 90.86 Kerala 94.24 Kerala 87.72
2. Mizoram 88.80 Lakshadweep 92.53 Mizoram 86.75
3. Lakshadweep 86.66 Mizoram 90.72 Lakshadweep 80.47
4. Goa 82.01 Puducherry 88.62 Chandigarh 76.47
5. Chandigarh 81.94 Goa 88.42 Goa 75.37
6. Delhi 81.67 Delhi 87.33 Andaman & Nicobar Islands 75.24
7. Andaman & Nicobar Islands 81.30 Daman & Diu 86.76 Delhi 74.71
8. Puducherry 81.24 Andaman & Nicobar Islands 86.33 Puducherry 73.90
9. Daman & Diu 78.18 Chandigarh 86.14 Himachal Pradesh 67.42
10. Maharashtra 76.88 Maharashtra 85.97 Maharashtra 67.03
11. Himachal Pradesh 76.48 Himachal Pradesh 85.35 Daman & Diu 65.61
12. Tamilnadu 73.45 Uttarakhand 83.28 Tripura 64.91
13. Tripura 73.19 Tamilnadu 82.42 Tamilnadu 64.33
14. Uttarakhand 71.62 Tripura 81.02 Punjab 63.36
15. Manipur1 70.53 Manipur1 80.33 Nagaland 61.46
16. Punjab 69.65 Gujarat 79.66 Manipur1 60.53
17. Gujarat 69.14 Haryana 78.49 Sikkim 60.40
18. Sikkim 68.81 Chhattisgarh 77.38 Uttarakhand 59.63
19. West Bengal 68.64 West Bengal 77.02 West Bengal 59.61
20. Haryana 67.91 Karnataka 76.10 Meghalaya 59.61
21. Karnataka 66.64 Madhya Pradesh 76.06 Gujarat 57.80
22. Nagaland 66.59 Sikkim 76.04 Karnataka 56.87
23. Chhattisgarh 64.66 Rajasthan 75.70 Haryana 55.73
24. Madhya Pradesh 63.74 Odisha 75.35 Assam 54.61
25. Assam 63.25 Punjab 75.23 Chhattisgarh 51.85
26. Odisha 63.08 Assam 71.28 Odisha 50.51
27. Meghalaya 62.56 Dadra & Nagar Haveli 71.18 Andhra Pradesh 50.43
28. Andhra Pradesh 60.47 Nagaland 71.16 Madhya Pradesh 50.29
29. Rajasthan 60.41 Andhra Pradesh 70.32 Rajasthan 43.85
30. Dadra & Nagar Haveli 57.63 Uttar Pradesh 68.82 Arunachal Pradesh 43.53
31. Uttar Pradesh 56.27 Jharkhand 67.30 Jammu & Kashmir 43.00
32. Jammu & Kashmir 55.52 Jammu & Kashmir 66.60 Uttar Pradesh 42.22
33. Arunachal Pradesh 54.34 Meghalaya 65.43 Dadra & Nagar Haveli 40.23
34. Jharkhand 53.56 Arunachal Pradesh 63.83 Jharkhand 38.87
35. Bihar 47.00 Bihar 59.68 Bihar 33.12

Notes : Manipur figures exclude those of the three sub-divisions, viz., Mao Maram, Paomata and Purul of Senapati district of Manipur as census results of 2001 in these three sub-divisions were cancelled due to technical and administrative reasons. Literacy rates relate to the population aged seven years and above.

Source: India 2010 - A Reference Annual