According to the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey, 72 percent of the country’s youth are literate. Literacy, however, is much higher in urban areas at 84 percent compared to rural areas where it stands at only 65 percent.
The PSLM survey conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics calculated youth literacy from the 15-24 years age bracket.
There is also a huge provincial divide in the youth literacy rate. At 78 per cent Punjab province comes out at the top, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with 67 per cent, while Balochistan is at the lowest with 57 percent. In the capital, Islamabad it is reported to be 93 percent.
Adult literacy, however, remains stagnant at 57 percent as the survey results of the past five years show. In fact, the regional comparison reveals a 2 percent decline in urban areas with 72 percent in 2019-20 as compared to 74 percent in 2014-15.
The adult literacy rate in rural areas has fared better at 48 percent in 2019-20 compared to 46 percent in 2014-15.
There is a stark literacy gap between genders as well. 68 percent of males are literate compared to only 46 percent of females.
Punjab, once again has the best adult literacy rate at 61 per cent, followed by Sindh with 57 per cent, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at 49 per cent, and Balochistan at 44 percent.
The current survey covered 5,893 blocks and 176,790 households and provides district-level indicators on education, Health, Housing, Water Sanitation, and Hygiene, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES).