Chennai has the highest literacy rate among the 10 most populous urban centres in India, Census data released on Wednesday showed.
With a literacy rate of 81.3 per cent, Chennai's literacy level is marginally higher than that of Mumbai, where the literacy rate was estimated to be 81 per cent. The two cities were closely followed by Pune (79.9 per cent) and Kolkata (79.8 per cent). Bengaluru (79 per cent), Ahmedabad (78.4 per cent), Delhi (77.8 per cent), Surat (77.1 per cent), Hyderabad (73.1 per cent) and Jaipur (72.7 per cent) were others on the top 10 list.
Of the total 505 urban centres for which the data was released, Thrissur in Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 89 per cent. This was followed by Kochi, another urban centre in Kerala, whose literacy rate was 88.4 per cent. The three remaining cities in the top five were in West Bengal - Khardaha and Darjeeling (both 88 per cent), and North Barrackpur (87.7 per cent).
At the other end of the spectrum, the least educated urban centres were Sambhal (40.6 per cent), Bagaha (49.2 per cent), Rampur (52.3 per cent), Amroha (53.5 per cent) and Firozabad (56.6 per cent).
In the graduate-and-above category, Pune ranked first among the top populous urban centres, with 21 per cent of its population having at least a graduate degree.
This was followed closely by Delhi at 20.1 per cent. Mumbai at 14.5 per cent had a lower share of graduates-and-above against Bengaluru (18.7 per cent), Kolkata (18.2 per cent), Jaipur (17.5 per cent) and Hyderabad (16.6 per cent). Among the top 10 populous urban centres, Ahmedabad (13.7 per cent) and Surat (6.2 per cent) had the lowest proportion of graduates.
Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, also known as Mohali, had the highest proportion of graduates (34.4 per cent), followed by Bidhan Nagar or Salt Lake City at 30.6 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum was Dabgram in West Bengal, which had the lowest proportion of graduates as a percentage of its population at 2.1 per cent.