July 25, 2016

Literacy Facts

Literacy influences all facets of our daily lives, and the social issue of low-literacy citizens in the United States impacts our communities in profound ways. However, the growing crisis of illiteracy doesn’t seem to register on the scale of public importance as prominently as it should. Here are just a few researched statistics from proliteracy.org that explain the importance of literacy in our society and why we should be concerned with increasing adult literacy in our communities:

                                                         U.S. ADULT LITERACY FACTS

~More than 36 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level.
~68 % of programs are struggling with long student waiting lists, and less than 10% of adults in need are
receiving services.

Children whose parents have low literacy levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves.
These children are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years, or drop out.(1)

ONE IN SIX young adults—more than 1.2 million—drop out of high school every year.(4)

ELL(English Language Learners)
2 million immigrants come to the U.S. each year, and about 50% of them lack high school education and proficient English language skills.(7)

Low literacy costs the U.S. $225 Billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.(3)

43% of adults with the lowest literacy levels live in poverty.(4)

$232 Billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy skills.(2)

75% of state prison inmates did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate.(6)

1 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
2 American Journal of Public Health
3 National Council for Adult Learning
4 National Center for Education Statistics
5 U.S. Department of Justice
6 Rand Report: Evaluating the Eectiveness of Correctional Education
7 Center for Immigration Studies

Other reputable facts and information regarding the literacy concern can be found at the links below:

The Literacy Company

Literacy Project Foundation


The crisis of literacy is real. If you are interested in donating your time, talents, or monetary support to furthering the cause of literacy in our own community, please consider visiting our Donation page today. All contributions are welcome and appreciated!