Kerala at the top with highest literacy rate; Andhra ranks worst

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New Delhi (NVI): With 96.2 per cent, Kerala has once again etched its place as the most literate state in India, followed by national capital Delhi at 89 per cent, revealed data from a report on education released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Meanwhile, the southern state of Andhra Pradesh at 66.4 per cent, has ranked the worst among all states in India in terms of literacy rate, behind Bihar’s 70.9 per cent.

According to the report, the national average for literacy stands at 77.7 per cent.

The data, which is for 2017-18 and for all aged 7 or more, showed that the popular idea of “developed states” can be misleading with regard to literacy.

As compared to the national average, Andhra’s literacy rate is at 66.4 per cent, Telangana’s is 72.8 per cent, which is worse than the national average and Karnataka’s is at 77.2 per cent.

Assam and Uttarakhand shared the top four positions with 85.9 per cent and 87.6 per cent, respectively, after Kerala and Delhi among the major states and Union Territories.

In addition to this, the gap between male and female literacy is the thinnest at just 2.2 percentage points.

For perspective, at the all-India level, the gap is 14.4 percentage points with male literacy at 84.7 per cent and female literacy at 70.3 per cent.

Besides the gender-wise gap in literacy rate, Kerala has the lowest gap between urban and rural literacy rates with 1.9 percentage points.

The worst in regard with the gap between urban and rural literacy rates are the states of Telangana, where urban literacy is 23.4 percentage points higher than rural literacy, and Andhra Pradesh, where the difference is 19.2 percentage points.

The difference between urban male literacy and rural female literacy is an alarming 27.2 percentage points at the national level.

In Rajasthan, the difference between urban male literacy and rural female literacy is 38.5 percentage points (9.1 per cent versus 52.6 per cent) and in Telangana, 38 percentage points (91.7 per cent versus 53.7 per cent). Meanwhile, the male urban literacy is under 90 per cent in only four major states and below 85 per cent in none of them.