United States has a Widespread Illiteracy Problem

In the richest country on Earth, according to GDP terms, more than half of the adults in the United States lack literacy proficiency.

According to the US Department of Education, 54% of US adults between 16 and 74 years old (about 130 million people) lack basic reading comprehension skills, ranking below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.

To put it in another perspective, there are 130 million adults who cannot understand texts that are appropriate for eleven or twelve-year olds.

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The Barbara Bush Foundation and the Gallup Foundation published the data in a study that describes the enormous economic impacts of illiteracy and the benefits of eradicating illiteracy at the national level.

Although it may seem obvious, research indicates a strong correlation between the literacy of the US population and annual income. The groups with the lowest levels of reading comprehension are also in the lowest socioeconomic groups.

The president and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation, British A. Robinson, said low literacy is a crisis that is “largely ignored” in the North American country. She added that there is hardly any research on this problem, and there are not enough funds to deal with it even though the problem is easily fixable with real political will.


Featured image: Illiteracy levels rise among American adults (Photo: Thomas Leuthard).

(Misión Verdad)

Translation: Orinoco Tribune


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