More women turned literate in Karnataka than men in the past decade. While the number of male literates went up by 51,47,257 between Census 2001 and 2011, female literates went up by 54,47,104, drastically narrowing the gender gap in literacy.
The highest percentage of female literates lives in Bangalore, while Dakshina Kannada tops the literacy chart in Karnataka. The coastal district has a literacy rate of 88.62%, with 93.31% of its men knowing "both to read and write with understanding". Yadgir has the lowest literacy in Karnataka " 52.36%, with women clocking a meagre 41.13% literacy.
The provisional Census 2011 figures show that Karnataka’s literacy rate improved from 66.65% to 75.60% " showing that every fourth person the state is still illiterate. In all, 12 districts have a literacy rate higher than the state average. A person aged seven and above, who can both read and write with understanding in any language, is considered to be literate.
The number of female illiterates exceeds female literates in Yadgir and Raichur. Only three districts " Bangalore, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi " have a female literacy rate of above 80%. In eight districts, the female literacy rate is less than 60%.
The comparison of sex ratio and female literacy throws up interesting insights. Except for Hassan, all four districts " Udupi, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur "which have a healthy sex ratio of 1,000+ females to 1,000 males have high female literacy rates of above 70%. Hassan has a sex ratio of 1,005, but its female literacy rate is 68.30%.
Interestingly, Bangalore Rural and Haveri, which have high female literacy levels, have very poor sex ratio. Bangalore Rural (945), which has the second worst sex ratio after Bangalore (908) has an impressive female literacy rate of 70.73%. In Haveri, 70.65% of women are literate, but it has the third lowest sex ratio (951) in the state.