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An Analysis of Female Literacy Rate and Its Impact on Life Expectancy at Birth in India

Roselin Basumatary

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Kokrajhar Govt. College
Kokrajhar, Assam


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) defines literacy as a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning which is fully essential to social and human development and its ability to transform lives. According to the Report to the UNESCO upon Education for All, Global Monitoring Report in 2006, literacy is a right and it is implicit in the right to education and the rationale for recognizing literacy as a right is the set of benefits which confers on individuals, families, communities and nation. In the study, secondary data has been used to examine the extent of literacy rate of females and gender disparity in literacy rate during 1991-2011 and, female illiteracy rate in the age groups 7-14, 15-19, 20-25, 30-34, 35-59, 60 and above (60+) and Age Not Stated (ANS) in 2011 across India. The impact of female literacy rate on life expectancy at birth in India has also been investigated using time series data upon female literacy rate and life expectancy with regression analysis. It is found that, although female literacy rate increased, it remained lower to male literacy across the country during the period. Moreover, in all the age groups, female illiterates are found. It is also found that the impact of female literacy rate on life expectancy at birth was significantly positive in India.

Key words: Literacy, Right, Female, Life Expectancy.

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