Why is the Literacy Rate so Low in India?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Literacy Rate in India is so low due to the country’s complex network of social and economic divisions. Illiteracy is the result of economic inequality, gender, caste, and technological barriers. The most significant percentage of adult illiterates live in India, adding to the country’s ongoing illiteracy problem.

Literacy Rate in India

The adult illiteracy rate in India is 287 million, or 37% of the world’s population. The overall literacy rate in India is 74.04%, with Bihar having the lowest rate at 61.80%.

  • Illiteracy has a wide-ranging impact on an individual’s life. Without the ability to read and write, an illiterate can only work as unskilled labor and cannot enter the labor force.
  • They also lack the knowledge necessary to make decisions that will affect their society and themselves.
  • The state of Bihar not only has the lowest literacy rate but there is also a huge gap between the male and female literacy of the state. Female literacy in Bihar is 51.5%, whereas male literacy is 71.2%, which is much higher.
  • Furthermore, children of illiterate parents do not receive the same education as children of educated parents.
  • Even if they attend the same school, children with illiterate parents lack the understanding that educated parents may instill in their children.


Why is the Literacy Rate so Low in India?

A complicated network of social and economic disparities is the reason for the low literacy rate in India. Inequality in the economy, gender, caste, and technology impediments contribute to illiteracy in India. India has a continuous illiteracy problem because the majority of adult illiterates live there. As a result, illiteracy is impeding India’s social and economic advancement.

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