11 Extremely Shocking Reading Statistics

It is well known that reading a minimum of twenty minutes a day, even from birth, sets any child up for success. Reading at a young age level leads to academic achievement, which leads to better jobs, and thus initiates a positive reading cycle. Below are some scary-real statistics for reading in America, followed by a few hopeful ones.


1. That’s Less Than 1/5 Of The American Pie

“20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage.”

The Literacy Project

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Source: Tumblr

2. If You’re Not 1st, You’re…12th?

America ranks 12th among 20 ‘high income’ countries included in a study of literacy. Twelve is a long, long way from one. We have work to do!

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Source: Giphy

3. Fake It ‘Till You Make It

“50% of American adults can’t read a book written at an eighth grade level.”

The Literacy Project

We’ll do the math for you —that’s half the country… Half. The. Country. Let that sink in.

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Source: Giphy

4. Zero Books, People!

“Six out of ten American households do not buy a single book in an entire year.”

The Literacy Project

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Source: Giphy

5. The Proof Is In The Prison System

“85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading.

The Literacy Project

This is all the more reason why positive reading programs should be available to all inmates.

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Source: Tumblr

6. The System Is Broken

“Three out of five people in American prisons can’t read.”  A scary and very sad pattern.

The Literacy Project

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Source: 9Gag

7. It’s A Vicious Cycle

Some states look at how well current elementary schools perform on reading tests to help determine the number of beds future prisons will require. It comes full circle.

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Source: Shudder

That’s enough negativity sauce for one day. Here are some happy facts:

8. Be A Leader In Your Field

According to Bite Size Bio, reading for one hour a day about your profession for seven years makes you an international expert in your field. Not only does this take a lot of discipline, but very few colleagues are likely to read even half of that amount.  By the way, that’s 1820 hours of reading material — In case you were curious!

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Source: Tumblr

9. Take That, Alzheimer’s!

Reading, along with completing puzzles and playing chess, may lead to you being 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, according to PNAS.

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Source: Giphy

10. Story Time Is Magical Time

Reading out loud to your children is the easiest way to spark their natural interest in books. Story time throughout their elementary years will help set them on the track to becoming avid readers. Remember the circle? This is how to break it!

11. Read, Rest, & Relax

Sussex University conducted a study in 2009 and the results are something for book lovers everywhere: Reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. That should be excuse enough to cuddle up with a glass of vino and a good book—it’s for your own good!

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Source: Reddit

This list is a lighthearted approach to a serious problem. The first seven statistics make it very clear that literacy and crime rates are tightly intertwined. It’s easy to say that if that parents just read to their children more, illiteracy wouldn’t exist. However, since the prison population often leaves single parents at home, and single parents need to work twice as hard to provide, there isn’t time or money for books and reading. Food and shelter comes first. The cycle of poverty and crime can’t be fixed this way.

What America needs right now is a solution to the literacy problems faced. So avid-readers, and part of the few, I ask you: what can we do to fix these drastic numbers?

YouTube Channel: Erin Parker


Featured image via Pixabay, Edited By Author

h/t Literacy Project Foundation & Real Simple