Iliteracy Statistics

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Illiteracy Statistics

The One World Literacy Foundation recognizes the overwhelming impact that illiteracy has had on the world, and we pledge to put the tools necessary to learn to read in the hands of all in need. Illiteracy statistics are staggering and we are here to help!

Education Stat1

Reading Statistics

 

Out-of-school reading habits of students has shown that even 15 minutes a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988

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56 percent of young people say they read more than 10 books a year, with middle school students reading the most. Some 70 percent of middle school students read more than 10 books a year, compared with only 49 percent of high school students.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
National Education Association press statement, March 2, 2001


There are almost half a million words in our English Language - the largest language on earth, incidentally - but a third of all our writing is made up of only twenty-two words.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Paul Kropp "The Reading Solution"


46% of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription medicine.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Journal of American Medical Association


In a class of 20 students, few if any teachers can find even 5 minutes of time in a day to devote to reading with each student.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Adams, 2002


Students who reported having all four types of reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias) in their home scored, on average, higher than those who reporter having fewer reading materials.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
The Nation's Report Card: Fourth-Grade Reading 2000, April 2001, The National Center for Education Statistics


The average reader spends about 1/6th of the time they spend reading actually re-reading words.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
No reference information is available for this statistic.


Forty-four percent of American 4th grade students cannot read fluently, even when they read grade-level stories aloud under supportive testing conditions.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Pinnell et al., 1995


15% of all 4th graders read no faster than 74 words per minute, a pace at which it would be difficult to keep track of ideas as they are developing within the sentence and across the page.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Pinnell, et. al. 1995


15 percent of the population has specific reading disorders. Of these 15 percent as many as 1/3 may show change in the brain structure.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Albert M. Galaburda, M.D., Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School.


In 1999, only 53 percent of children aged 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Fast Facts, Family Reading


It is estimated that as many as 15 percent of American students may be dyslexic.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Good readers in 5th grade may read 10 times as many words as poor readers over a school year.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Nagy and Anderson, 1984


50 percent of American adults are unable to read an eighth grade level book.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America


When the State of Arizona projects how many prison beds it will need, it factors in the number of kids who read well in fourth grade.
Reference
Reading Statistics Reference Information
Arizona Republic (9-15-2004) Advertisement by SheaHomes Inc. www.sheahomes.com

Education Stat2



Literacy Statistics

 

 
Over 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic. They are deliberately sought after because they have superb problem solving skills and excellent 3D and spatial awareness. 

Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
Mary-Margaret Scholtens, director of the Alternative Programs Providing Learning Experiences Group, Copyright ? 2005, Jonesboro Sun

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Over one million children drop out of school each year, costing the nation over $240 billion in lost earnings, forgone tax revenues, and expenditures for social services.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
McQuillan, 1998

Dyslexia affects one out of every five children - ten million in America alone.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
Sally Shaywitz, M.D.,2004

Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

44 million adults in the U.S. can't read well enough to read a simple story to a child.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
National Adult Literacy Survey (1992) NCED, U.S. Department of Education

60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
U.S. Department of Education

It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
United Way, "Illiteracy: A National Crisis"

U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
According to a separate report released by the Educational Testing Service.

More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage.
Reference

More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. About three in five of America's prison inmates are illiterate.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
Washington Literacy Council

Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education

Nearly half of America's adults are poor readers, or "functionally illiterate." They can't carry out simply tasks like balancing check books, reading drug labels or writing essays for a job.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
National Adult Literacy Survery of 1993

To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
National Council on Teachers of English Standards for the English Language Arts

21 million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can't read their diplomas.
Reference
Literacy Statistics Reference Information
Department of Justice, 1993

Education Stat3

Education Statistics

 

Five to six year olds have a vocabulary of 2,500-5,000 words.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
Beck & Mckeown, 1991

33% of children in California will not finish high school.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
California Department of Education

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The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years (8 words per day).
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
Baumann & Kameenui, 1991 / Beck & McKeown, 1991 / Graves, 1986

Disadvantaged students in the first grade have a vocabulary that is approximately half that of an advantaged student (2,900 and 5,800 respectively).
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
Graves, 1986 / White, Graves & Slater, 1990

54 percent of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only one-fifth of teachers feel very prepared to serve them.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
Richard Riley - Former Secretary of Education

14% of all individuals have a learning disability.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
Learning Disabilities Association

The educational careers of 25 to 40 percent of American children are imperiled because they don't read well enough, quickly enough, or easily enough.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
Committee on Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council, 1998

It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether.
Reference
Education Statistics Reference Information
A Nation Still at Risk, U.S. Department of Education, 1999

us literacy statistics


US Literacy Statistics

The One World Literacy Foundation has found that 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. The 4th grade is the watershed year. We can predict that if a child is not reading proficiently in the 4th grade, he or she will have approximately a 78% chance of not catching up.

According to the literacy fast facts http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=69 from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), literacy is defined as "using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential."

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"One measure of literacy is the percentage of adults who perform at four achievement levels: Below Basic, Basic, Intermediate, and Proficient. In each type of literacy, 13 percent of adults were at or above Proficient (indicating they possess the skills necessary to perform complex and challenging literacy activities) in 2003. Twenty-two percent of adults were Below Basic (indicating they possess no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills) in quantitative literacy, compared with 14 percent in prose literacy and 12 percent in document literacy."

Many of the USA ills are directly related to illiteracy. Just a few statistics:

Literacy is learned. Illiteracy is passed along by parents who cannot read or write.
One child in four grows up not knowing how to read.
43% of adults at Level 1 literacy skills live in poverty compared to only 4% of those at Level 5
3 out of 4 food stamp recipients perform in the lowest 2 literacy levels
90% of welfare recipients are high school dropouts
16 to 19 year old girls at the poverty level and below, with below average skills, are 6 times more likely to have out-of-wedlock children than their reading counterparts.
Low literary costs $73 million per year in terms of direct health care costs. A recent study by Pfizer put the cost much higher.

United States Literacy statistics and juvenile court

85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.
More than 60 percent of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate.
Penal institution records show that inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help, as opposed to 70% who receive no help. This equates to taxpayer costs of $25,000 per year per inmate and nearly doubles that amount for juvenile offenders.
Illiteracy and crime are closely related. The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure." Over 70% of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.

world literacy statistics icon


World Literacy Statistics

The One World Literacy Foundation has pledged to improve adult literacy
levels for those with Internet access by 50% between 2012 and 2022. While the number of illiterate persons has fallen over
the past decade, 793 million adults – 64% of whom are women – still lack basic reading and
writing skills. In 2009, the global adult literacy rate was 83.7%, compared to
89.3% for youth.

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Where are literacy rates lowest and highest in the world?
Global maps of literacy rates for adults and youth, 2009

The lowest literacy rates are observed in sub-Saharan Africa and in South and West Asia. Adult literacy rates were below 50% in the following 11 countries: Benin, Burkina
Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone. In North
America and Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, East Asia and the
Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, the average adult and youth literacy rates were
greater than 90%. However, it is important to note that regional averages can
mask disparities at the country level. This is most apparent in sub-Saharan Africa, where the
adult literacy rate ranges from 26% in Mali to 93% in Equatorial Guinea.

What is the global distribution of adult and youth literacy?
Literacy rates by region, 2009

The region of South and West Asia is home to more than one-half of the global illiterate
population (51.8%). In addition, 21.4% of all illiterate adults live in sub-Saharan Africa, 12.8% in
East Asia and the Pacific, 7.6% in the Arab States and 4.6% in Latin America and the
Caribbean. Less than 2% of the global illiterate population lives in North America and Western
Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia combined.
For

Global literacy rates and population numbers for adults and youth, 2009

Adult literacy rate, total 83.7%
Adult literacy rate, male 88.3%
Adult literacy rate, female 79.2%
Adult illiterate population, total 793.1 million
Adult illiterate population, female share 64.1%
Youth literacy rate, total 89.3%
Youth literacy rate, male 91.9%
Youth literacy rate, female 86.8%
Youth illiterate population, total 127.3 million
Youth illiterate population, female share 60.7%

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, September 2011.
ADULT AND YOUTH LITERACY
UIS Fact Sheet, September 2011, No. 16

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