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15 US Literacy Rate and Illiteracy Statistics

US Literacy Rate and Illiteracy Statistics

In the United States, the illiteracy rate has not changed in the past 10 years. According to the US Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, the following statistics outline the state of literacy in the United States.

1. 32 million adults can not read in the United States equal to 14% of the population.
2. 21% of US adults read below the 5th grade level.
3. 19% of high school graduates can not read.
4. 85% of juveniles who interact with the juvenile court system are considered functionally illiterate.
5. 70% of inmates in America’s prisons can not read above the fourth grade level.

Global Illiteracy

Illiteracy is not just confined to the borders of the United States. Worldwide, 774 million individuals can not read. 66% of this group of illiterates are female.

America’s Declining Literacy Rate

The following video looks at ways to integrate statistics in to examine the reasoning and cause of continued declining literacy rates in the United States.

10 Facts About Literacy

Recent statistics show that 2/3 of students that are unable to read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or welfare. These individuals will also suffer a 78% chance of not catching up. The following below facts show the epidemic facing society with the high numbers of illiterate adults.

1. Penal institutions show the inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help compared to 70% that receive no help. This can save taxpayers $25,000 a year per inmate and double that amount for juvenille offenders.
2. Literacy is considered learned. Illiteracy is passed along by parents who can not read or write.
3. 1 in 4 children grow up not knowing how to read.
4. 43% of adults at considered level 1 literacy skills and live in poverty compared to 4% at level 5.
5. 3 out of 4 food stamp recipients perform in the lowest 2 literacy levels.
6. 90% of welfare recipients are high school dropouts.
7. 16 to 19 year old girls below poverty level are 6 times more likely to have children out of wedlock.
8. Low literacy rates costs $73 million per year in terms of direct health care costs.
9. As of 2013, Washington DC is considered the most literate American city for the third year in a row, followed by Seattle and Minneapolis close behind.
10. Long Beach, California is ranked the nations more illiteracy city followed by Mesa, Arizona and Aurora, Colorado.

World Reading Literacy

The following infographic takes a look at the statistics and facts about literacy in the United States and the World. On average, the number of American adults that can not ready increased by 2.25 million individuals each year. An average of 1 in every 5 adults are unable to calculate their weekly salary when told what their hourly rate of pay will be.

Illiteracy Statistics Worldwide

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