Kerala tops the list of the most literate state in India with a literacy rate of 96.2%, while Andhra Pradesh is at the bottom with 66.4%, a survey by the National Statistical Office has revealed.

The report titled “Household Social Consumption on Education in India”, released by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, provides state-wise details of education among people above the age of seven. The survey used samples taken between July 2017 and June 2018.

The survey showed that India’s overall literacy rate stands at 77.7%. In rural India, the literacy rate is 73.5% as compared to 87.7% in urban areas. As many as 84.7% of males above the age of seven are literate, whereas the figure for females stands at 70.3%.

State-wise, Delhi stands at the second spot with 88.7%, followed by Uttarkhand at 87.6% and Himachal Pradesh at 86.6%. On the other hand, Rajasthan occupies the second-last spot with a literacy rate of 69.7%, preceded by Bihar at 70.9%, Telangana at 72.8% and Uttar Pradesh at 73%.

Further, the survey revealed that nearly 4% of the rural population and 23% of the urban population has access to computers. About 24% of households in India – 15% in rural areas and 42% in urban areas – have access to the internet. Moreover, in the 15-29 age group, about 24% in rural areas and 56% in urban areas were able to operate a computer.


In Delhi, as many as 24.7% of persons above the age of 15 have at least a graduate degree. On the other hand, in Jharkhand, this figure stands at just 5%. The survey also showed that 77% of students studying in government institutions – about 81% in rural areas and 62% in urban areas – receive free education.

The survey also showed that nearly 45% students attending pre-primary and above level received free or subsidised textbooks. The figure stood at 54% in rural and 24% in urban regions.

At an all-India level, 96.1% of the students are enrolled for general education, while the remaining are undertaking technical or professional educational courses. In this, 96.9% of female students – 98.3% in rural and 93.7% in urban areas – are pursuing general education. The figure is comparatively lower in male students with 95.5% undertaking general education. The percentage for male students is 97.1% in rural and 91.7% in urban areas.

Meanwhile, 46.1% of males and 40.7% of females in rural areas and 46.7% males and 42.6% females between the ages of 3 and 35 attend educational institutions.

Moreover, 21% male students and 19% females in pre-primary or above levels take private coaching, the survey said. The figure is highest for the students at the secondary level where 31% of male students and 29% of female students are enrolled for private coaching.

Nearly 14% of students in rural areas and 10% in urban areas in the 3-35 age group have dropped out of studies. Further, 13% males and 19% females in rural areas and 7% male students and 10% females in urban areas in the same age group have never ben enrolled in any educational institution.

The survey was based on a sample size of 64,519 rural households from 8,097 villages and 49,238 urban households from 6,188 blocks all over India.

Literacy rate and the status of education are data that find place in the census. The census of India is due next in 2021. However, the first phase of the Census 2021 and updating of the National Population Register – scheduled to take place between April and September – were postponed in March in view of the coronavirus pandemic.