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Further literacy can lead to health awareness and fuller participation in the cultural and economic well-being of the community. Almost 2/3rd of our population is now literate.
Number of Literates:
As per the Provisional Population Totals of Census 2011, the number of literates in India was 778.5 million. Of this, 493.0 million literates were in rural areas and 285.4 million literately in urban areas. Out of an increase of 217.8 million literates over the decade 2001-2011, rural areas accounted for 131.1 million and urban areas 86.6 million. The highest number of rural literates has been recorded in Uttar Pradesh (88.4 million). Maharashtra (40.8 million) has recorded the highest number of literates in urban areas.
The Literacy Rate of India as per the Provisional Population Totals of Census 2011 is 74.04. In rural areas the Literacy Rate is 68.91 and in urban areas it is 84.98. The decadal change works out to 9.21 points – 10.17 points in rural areas and 5.06 points in urban areas respectively. The Male Literacy Rate which is 82.14 (Rural – 78.57; Urban- 89.67) is higher than the Female Literacy Rate of 65m.46 (Rural – 58.75; Urban – 7S.92).
The increase in female literacy rate is significantly higher in all areas i.e, total (11.79 points), rural (12.62 points), and urban (7.06 points) in comparison to corresponding male literacy rates – total (6.88 points), rural (7.87) and urban (3.40 points) over the decade. It is significant to note that the gap in literacy rate among males and females has reduced to 16.68 in the country.
The gap is 19.82 points in rural areas and 9.75 points in urban areas. Kerala (92.92) ranks first in rural areas whereas Mizoram (98.1) ranks first in urban areas. As far as Male Literacy Rate is concenred, Kerala (95.29) ranks first in rural areas whereas Mizoram (998.67) ranks first in urban areas.
Rajasthan (46.25) has recorded lowest Female Literacy Rate in rural areas, whereas, Jammu & Kashmir (70.19) has the lowest Female Literacy Rate in rural areas, whereas, Jammu & Kashmir (70.19) has the Lowest Female Literacy Rate in urban areas. Lowest Male Literacy Rate in rural areas has been recorded in Arunachal Pradesh (68.79) and in urban area in Uttar Pradesh (81.75).
i. The improvement in literacy rate in rural areas is two times than in urban areas.
ii. The rural literacy gap which was 21.2 percentage points in 2001 has come down to 16.1 percentage points in 2011.
iii. Improvement in female literacy is more than males in both rural and urban areas.
iv. The gender gap in literacy has come down from 24.6 in 2001 to 19.8 in 2011 in rural areas and from 13.4 in 2001 to 9.8 in 2011 urban areas.
The literacy rate is calculated for the population above 7 years. Lattach more importance to the female literacy rate than the overall literacy rate.