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SRS Survey Trend: As Female Literacy Rate Goes up in India, Fertility Rate Comes Down

By: Suhas Munshi

News18.com

Last Updated: July 02, 2020, 18:43 IST

New Delhi

Representative image (Reuters)

Representative image (Reuters)

Data from the latest study when compared to previous ones also shows that along with the top performing states, in terms of female literacy, those at the bottom of this list also have constantly been improving upon the literacy rates of their female populations.

The average literacy rate of the female population, those between 15 and 49 years, in India has been showing an upward trend for the third consecutive year, according to the data provided in the Sample Registration System (SRS) survey for the year 2018.

News18 analysed the latest data with the data available for the previous two years and found that the percentage of literate females as a proportion of total females between 15 and 49 years of age has been rising constantly – from 84.8% in 2016 to 85.3% in 2017 to 87% in 2018.

Levels of high illiteracy also correspond to the fertility rates in states. Taken as a whole, the fertility rate of females in India among those who are illiterate touches a high of 3, among those who are literate but without any formal education the fertility rate is 2.5, among those who have studied up to middle school it is 2.5, for those who have finished their schools it is 1.8, and among those who have graduated it is 1.7.

Among the literate females those who have completed primary education, which in 2018 stood at 13.9%—the same as that registered in 2017—was an improvement over the figure of 13.4% registered in 2016. Also, in 2018, 12.5% females were found to have finished school, an improvement over 12% which was registered under the same subhead for 2017.

Another observable trend is that along with the top performing states, in terms of female literacy, the states at the bottom of this list also have constantly been improving upon the literacy rates of their female populations.
Kerala, which leads the country in terms of literacy rate, registered 99.2% literacy in 2016, 99.3 in 2017 and 99.5 in 2018. Himachal Pradesh comes second with 98.4% literacy in 2016, 98.8 in 2017 and 98.8 in 2018.

Tamil Nadu came third with 95.8 in 2016, 96.2 in 2017 and 96.8 in 2018. The same goes for the states that have come out at the bottom of this list. Bihar has reduced its illiteracy from 28.3% in 2016, to 26.3% in 2017, to 23.5% in 2018. Jharkhand from 25% in 2016, to 24.9% in 2017, to 22.6% in 2018. And Rajasthan from 23.5% in 2016, to 22.5% in 2017, to 20% in 2018.

In states like Bihar the fertility rate among its literate population is as high as 3, Uttar Pradesh follows close behind with a fertility rate of 2.9 among its literate female population. Delhi at 1.5 has the lowest fertility rate among its female population among all the UTs and states surveyed in the SRS.
first published:July 02, 2020, 18:27 IST
last updated:July 02, 2020, 18:43 IST