Female Literacy rate rising more than Male Literacy rate

I was recently reading a newspaper article where it stated that ‘India will take around 56 years to achieve female youth literacy‘.

On reading the headline, I was quite intrigued and found out data of literacy rates in India. The census comes out with the literacy rates, and as per its data the literacy rates are given below:

10-14 Years 15-19 Years
Year Female Male Female Male
2001 77.0% 86.0% 72.7% 85.0%
2011 90.0% 92.2% 86.2% 91.2%
Growth in % Pts. 13.0% 6.2% 13.5% 6.2%

As seen above in the age group of 10-14 years, the literacy rates for females and males is 90% and 92.2% respectively, which is not a wide difference. In the past decade (from 2001-2011), the growth in % points in literacy rates for females has been more that 2x times he growth in literacy rates for males. The growth in literacy has been 13% for females and 6.2% for males. Implying that the rate of literacy is higher for girls as compared to boys.

We have just discussed literacy (which means learning how to read and write), let’s now discuss regarding education (ie. studying in class I – XII). Here the parameter to be referred to is the Gender Parity Index (GPI), which is the ratio of female Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to male GER. A GPI of 1 indicates parity between the sexes.

For classes I-XII, the GPI has increased from 0.82 from 2001-02 to 0.96 in 2009-10, implying that the education level for girls and boys are nearly at par. For class I-VII, the GPI for 2009-10 is 0.98. The GPI of various classes is given below:

Class I-V Class I-VIII Class I-XII
2001-02 0.83 0.81 0.82
2009-10 1.00 0.98 0.96

As seen above the GPI has considerably risen and has become 1.0 for Class I-V. 

Therefore, female youth literacy and education does not seem to be distant dream as shown in the data above.



1) Statistics of School Education 209-10, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

2) YouthInfo India: ORGI_Census 2001, Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi 2001 and 2011


One Response to Female Literacy rate rising more than Male Literacy rate

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