India’s literacy rate increased by 9.2 % to reach 74.04%, according to provisional data of the 2011 census.
Interestingly, literacy rate has improved sharply among females as compared to males. While the effective literacy rate for males rose from 75.26 to 82.14 % marking a rise of 6.9 %, it increased by 11.8 % for females from 53.67 to 65.46 %. Out of total 217,700,941 literates added during the decade, females at 110,069.001 outnumbered males at 107,631,940.
According to provisional totals of the latest census, literates constitute 74% of total population aged seven and above. The significant milestone reached in 2011 census was the decline of illiterates by 31,196,847.
Ten states and union territories, including Kerala, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Chandigarh, National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, have attained literacy rate of above 85 %, the target set by the Planning Commission to be achieved by 2011-12.
The gap of 21.59% points recorded between male and female literacy rates in 2001 census reduced to 16.68% points in 2011. The Planning Commission had set up a target of reducing this gap to 10 percentage points by 2011-12.
Kerala has the highest literacy rate at 93.91 % followed by Lakshadweep at 92.28 %. Bihar is at the bottom of the ladder with literacy rate of 63.82 % followed by Arunachal Pradesh at 66.95 %.