Data newly released from the 2011 Census of India on educational level by religious community and gender has shown that 42.7% of Muslims in India are illiterate. This is the highest illiteracy rate for any single religious community in the country, while the illiteracy rate for the entire population taken together is 36.9%.
Muslims are the only community to have an illiteracy rate higher than the national rate among all communities. For Hindus, the figure stands at 36.3%, the second highest proportion of illiterate people.
This data set takes into account the population above seven years of age.
Literacy rates are highest among Jains, at 84.7%, followed by Christians (74.3%), Buddhists (71.8%) and Sikhs (67.5%).
Unsurprisingly, literate proportions of the population differ for men and women in each of the communities. As seen in the chart below, the distance between men and women is highest amongst Hindus and Buddhists, for Hindus the distance is slightly higher then for the total population numbers.
The rural-urban divide is higher among the population in general and Hindus then for Muslims. Even in urban areas, 34.4% of the Muslim population is illiterate, as opposed to 25.5% of the overall population.
The data also reveals the extent to which different communities study, also disaggregated by gender. For all religious communities taken together, only 5.63% have a graduate degree or more.
Of the people who have studied up to graduation and above, 61.6% are men and 38.4% women.