Literacy in India

Literacy in India is a key for socio-economic progress, and the Indian literacy rate has grown to 74.04% (2011 figure) from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947. Although this was a greater than sixfold improvement, the level is well below the world average literacy rate of 84%, and of all nations, India currently has the largest illiterate population. Despite government programmes, India's literacy rate increased only "sluggishly", and a 1990 study estimated that it would take until 2060 for India to achieve universal literacy at then-current rate of progress. The 2011 census, however, indicated a 2001-2011 decadal literacy growth of 9.2%, which is slower than the growth seen during the previous decade.

There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India: effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) in 2011 were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women. The low female literacy rate has had a dramatically negative impact on family planning and population stabillisation efforts in India. Studies have indicated that female literacy is a strong predictor of the use of contraception among married Indian couples, even when women do not otherwise have economic independence. The census provided a positive indication that growth in female literacy rates (11.8%) was substantially faster than in male literacy rates (6.9%) in the 2001-2011 decadal period, which means the gender gap appears to be narrowing.

The current literacy rate of India is 74.04%.