Jammu and Kashmir’s literacy rate has increased by 13 per cent in the last decade even as the State witnessed a dip in the sex ratio and the child sex ratio, the provisional figures of the 2011 Census reveal.

“The literacy rate in Jammu and Kashmir has increased from 55 per cent in 2001 Census to 68 per cent in the 2011 Census,” Director Census Operations Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Ahmad told reporters here.

While female literacy has increased from 20 per cent in 1981 Census to 58 per cent this year, the male literacy has also nearly doubled from 44 per cent to 78 per cent during the corresponding three decades, Mr. Ahmad said while releasing the data.

Jammu, Samba and Leh district have the highest literacy rates of over 90 per cent while Bandipora, Ganderbal, Budgam, Ramban, Kulgam and Reasi have a literacy rate of less than 60 per cent.

Remote Kupwara district in north Kashmir has made the biggest strides in improving the literacy rate, moving from 42 per cent in 2001 to 68 per cent in this year.

Mr. Ahmad said, however, the data regarding the sex ratio was a cause of worry as numbers had fallen to the level of 1901.

In 1901, the sex ratio in Jammu and Kashmir was 882 and the latest Census has it marginally higher at 883, a drop of nine compared to 2001 Census. The national average is 940.

Leh district in Ladakh region has a shocking sex ratio of just 583, which is a massive drop of 240 from the 2001 census.

Considering the sex ratio, Leh district is ranked 22nd in as many districts in the State. Nearby Kargil district is one rank above, at 21st position with a ratio of 775, down 62 from 2001 Census.

Kulgam and Shopian districts in south Kashmir have the highest sex ratio of 951, which is 11 more than the national average.

The two capital cities of the State - Jammu and Srinagar - have almost identical figures of 871 and 879 and both have registered improvements over the 2001 figures.

The child sex ratio was equally worrisome as it has dropped by 100 points from 963 in 1981 to 863 in 2011.

“It will have serious effects on our future population and it is time that we take steps to correct it,” Joint Director Census Operations C S Sapru said.

According to the data, the State’s population has grown from 1.01 crore in 2001 to 1.25 crore this year, with the male population accounting for 66.65 lakh.

The State has registered a decadal growth of almost 24 per cent, which was the seventh highest in the country.

However, the growth rate for the past decade was six percentile points less compared to last four Census operations since 1971.

Kashmir Valley has a population of 69.08 lakh while Jammu division has 53.50 lakh. Ladakh region accounts for 2.90 lakh population of the state.

“These figures include whoever was physically present in the territorial jurisdiction of Jammu and Kashmir during the enumeration period. The security forces posted in the state were also counted,” the Director Census said.

He thanked the political leadership - both mainstream and separatists - for extending cooperation to the Census exercise.

“I am thankful to people at large and political leadership on either side of the fence for their wholehearted cooperation in data collection,” Mr. Ahmad said.