In India, Around 43% Muslims have highest number of illiterates: census

New Delhi: In India, Muslims have the highest number of illiterates at nearly 43%, while Jain has the highest number of literates among the religious communities in India as over 86% of them are educated.

According to the data of Census 2011, Jain has just 13.57% illiterate – aged seven years and above – among all the communities. The census has taken those between 0 and 6 years as illiterate.


The Muslims have the highest percentage of illiterates aged beyond 7 years at 42.72%.

According to the latest census figure on ‘education level by religious community’ for age 7 years and above – 36.40% for Hindus, 32.49% for Sikhs, 28.17% for Buddhists, and 25.66% for Christians,

As compared to 63.60% of 7 years-plus Hindus and 57.28% Muslims in the ‘literate’ category, the percentage of literates among Christians is 74.34%, among Buddhists 71.83% and among Sikhs 67.51%.

Jains have the highest percentage of educated members who are graduates and above.

The minimum graduation as the qualification of Jains is at 25.65%; they surpass by far the corresponding numbers for other communities, which are 8.85% for Christians, 6.40% for Sikhs, 6.18% for Buddhists, 5.98% for Hindus and 2.76% for Muslims.

The overall literacy rates among all communities have gone up since 2001. The percentage of those literates among Hindus is up to 63.60% in 2011 from 54.92% in 2001, while the corresponding rise for Muslims is to 57.28% from 48.05% in 2001.

For Christians, the number rose to 74.34% from 69.45%, for Sikhs to 67.51% from 60.56%, and for Buddhists to 71.83% from 62.16%.

Among the Muslims, just 0.44% have the technical/non-technical diploma, only 2.76% are educated till graduation level or above, 4.44% are educated to higher secondary level and 6.33% till matric level.

In the Muslim community, the highest number of literates are at the primary level at 16.08%, followed by 14.32% at below primary level and 9.73% at middle school.

In Hindu community, 11.83%  of their members educated below primary level, 15.11% till primary level, 11.27% till middle school level, 9% till matriculation and 6.62% till higher secondary.