Millions of Americans cannot read this

Every year, at least two million adults considered to be functionally illiterate swell the ranks of Americans unable to read. If this critical problem isn’t addressed soon, society will most certainly pay the price.

Illiteracy Statistics

  • 42 million American adults can’t read at all; 50 million are unable to read at a higher level that is expected of a fourth or fifth grader.
  • The number of adults that are classified as functionally illiterate increases by about 2.25 million each year.
  • 20 percent of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.

Source: National Right to Read Foundation

Where Illiteracy Leads

  • 70 percent of prisoners in state and federal systems can be classified as illiterate.
  • 85 percent of all juvenile offenders rate as functionally or marginally illiterate.
  • 43 percent of those whose literacy skills are lowest live in poverty.

Source: National Institute for Literacy


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Posted by on September 13, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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4 Responses to Millions of Americans cannot read this

  1. Jerry Critter Reply

    September 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    And the Right wants to cut education even more. It builds their base.

  2. Jess Reply

    September 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    This is why we should all go and volunteer at libraries in their reading is good programs, nope not being snarky, being very serious. An educated populace is a better performing one. Bonus they won’t vote for repubs either in the long run. I really do recommend getting involved with literacy programs in your free time. The joy when someone can read a page of a book is well worth it. Look at all those countries up there, what do they all have in common? Excellent safety nets for their citizens, some even offer free higher education, health care and so on. I know, it’s shocking but it’s true.

  3. The Lawyer Reply

    September 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    A sad commentary. Democracy depends on the people being educated.

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