Top 5 Most Illiterate States in India

India’s growth has been significant in the last few years or so, and specifically in the area of educational facilities, which is like one of the most important things to improve in the country. Still, despite all the efforts, like making education accessible to all, digital India, and all the other initiatives, there are some parts of India where the literacy rate is not as good as expected. And today, we’ll take a look at the top 5 least illiterate states in India as of 2024, so that you know what their challenges are and how much differences there in male and female literacy. So let’s get on with this, shall we?

Illiterate States in India
Image Credit: Medium

1. Andhra Pradesh – 66.4% Literacy Rate

Andhra Pradesh ranks tops in the list of lowest literacy states in india. Situated in the southern coastal region of India, Andhra Pradesh is home to some colorful cultural tapestries and scenic landscapes, no doubt about that. Even as it makes strides in different economic areas like agriculture, information technology, textiles, etc., educational progress, however, lags with a literacy rate of 66.4% as per the latest data. This statistical fact can positively scream a clear need for reforms within the educational system. The difference was also witnessed in male and female literacy: 73.4% and 59.5%, respectively. With such a huge population of over 49 million, the state is struggling hard for the upliftment of accessible quality education at par with its expanse.

2. Rajasthan – 69.7% Literacy Rate

With just a 69.7% literacy rate, Rajasthan ranks on the second lowest literate states in India. Male literacy at 80.8% and female literacy at 57.6% bring out a clear-cut case of gender disparity. This figure, if taken into account with the large area and with over 68 million populations of Rajasthan, it creates logistic challenges for access to all. It is within this view that some of the programs and efforts undertaken by the state government, such as those aimed at female education and adult literacy, aim to reduce disparities and achieve holistic literariness all across the state.

3. Bihar – 70.9% Literacy Rate

Bihar had remained the center of educational excellence in the olden times. But presently, Bihar is the third most illiterate state in the country with just a 70.9% literacy rate. Looking at this number, it might appear pretty decent to most of you all, which it is, but just a decade ago, Bihar used to be the number 1 illiterate state in the entire Indian subcontinent. As of now, efforts towards the strengthening of educational infrastructure, putting good teachers at work, and focusing on gender equality in literacy do reflect the commitment of the state towards making strides in education. Yet, there remains a considerable journey ahead in elevating Bihar’s literacy to greater heights.

4. Telangana – 72.8% Literacy Rate

Did you know that Telangana is actually the newest state in India, yes, it was established just in 2014. Hard to believe, right? Anyway, Telangana is toiling very hard toward the betterment of education in the state. The state has a good rate of people who can read and write, 72.8%, to be precise. The government started many programs to help with this. They are useful in that they use technology in schools and help people learn the skills.

5. Uttar Pradesh – 73% Literacy Rate

It is an important state, having more than 241 million people hence the title of the most populated state in the country. To put it simply, it is really a great job teaching all/everyone to read and write, as it has an average literacy rate of 73.0%. The state is very hard-working to do better with how they teach, especially that it will ensure girls and boys learn equally. This state is spending money on improving schools, training teachers, and helping grown-ups to learn how to read and write. This is how Uttar Pradesh is working to make sure more people can read and write.


Q1. What is the meaning of a low literacy rate?

Ans: Low literacy means someone can only read or write simple things, not complicated texts. It’s when someone’s reading ability is below level 2 on a global adult scale.

Q2. Which UT has the lowest literacy rate in India?

Ans: According to the 2011 Census, Dadra & Nagar Haveli has the lowest literacy rate at 77.24%, with the rate being very low, especially in the case of males.

Q3. Why low literacy in some Indian states?

Ans: The reasons include economic inequality, gender, and caste discrimination, and lack of technology access.

Q4. Is India’s literacy rate decreasing?

Ans: India’s literacy rate is 77.70%, with men at 84.70% and women at 70.30%, showing there’s still room for improvement compared to other countries.

Q5. Why has Bihar been suffering from a low literacy rate in India?

Ans: Since independence, Bihar has been facing educational hurdles, resulting in low literacy rate. Females were at 4.22% during the time of independence, which clearly shows that the policies established then were not in favor of women.

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