A new survey has named Atlanta the eight most literate city in the U.S.
The study conducted by Dr. Jack Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University identified Washington D.C. as the nation’s most literate city for the third time.
The survey is in its tenth year of measuring America’s social health by reviewing reading aptitude within 75 of the country’s largest cities.
The top 10 cities include:
- Washington D.C.
- Seattle, WA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Denver, CO
- St. Paul, MN
- Boston, MA
- Atlanta, GA
- St. Louis, MO
- Portland, OR
Researchers gathered data by assessing six literacy resources including booksellers, educational demographics, library usage, newspaper circulation and periodical publishing resources. The data was then compared to the population rates in each city.
Studies are also showing that Americans are slowly backing away from traditional forms of reading.
Despite the 48-percent rise in income over the last 12 years, there is a 30 percent decline in purchasing reading resources such as books, magazines and newspapers. Even with the rise of e-readers like Nooks and iPads, researchers found a 22-percent decline in reading activity.
Researchers find that Americans don’t lack the time to read but are choosing to indulge in other forms of entertainment. According to recent statistics, annual spending on services such as cable TV and electronics is 8.5 times more than purchases on reading materials.
Within the 75 cities surveyed, the average newspaper circulation declined more than 37 percent while library usage has remained unchanged.
“While Americans are becoming more and more educated in terms of their time spent in school and their achieved education level, they are decreasing in terms of literate behaviors,” Dr. Miller suggested.
Researchers also found that the percent of bachelor degree holders in major cities has remained steady within the past twelve years.
Dr. Miller believes that this trend simply indicates a shift in literacy methods.
“The context for reading is undergoing dramatic, rapidly increasing change on a number of fronts. These are truly fascinating times for those of us who study literacy,” Dr. Miller said. “But I am concerned about what these changes portend for our country.”
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