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World Reading Literacy
World Illiteracy 1970-2010
US Reading Literacy
Percentage of the population of each state that has below a 5th grade level of literacy
30% or greater
20% to 30%
15% to 20%
10% to 15%
42 million American adults can’t read
50 million American adults are unable to read above a 5th grade level.
The number of American adults who are classified as functionally illiterate increases by about 2.25 million each year.
20% Of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.
70% Of prisoners in state and federal systems can be classified as illiterate.
85% Of all juvenile offenders rate as functionally or marginally illiterate.
43% Of those with the lowest literacy skill live in poverty.
U.S. Math Literacy
According to the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy, U.S. adults are terrible at solving real-world math problems like calculating tips or comparing prices in grocery stores. Here are some dismal facts:
42 Of Americans are able to pick out two items on a menu, add them, and calculate a tip.
1 in 5 Americans can reliably calculate mortgage interest. The other 4 can’t.
1 in 5 Americans can’t calculate weekly salary when told an hourly pay rate.
13% Of Americans are “proficient” at math. Worse yet, only 1 in 10 women, 1 in 25 Hispanics and 1 in 50 African Americans made the grade.
20 Million Americans pay someone to file their 1040EZ, a one-page tax form with about 10 blanks to complete.
The U.S. ranks 25 among 30 industrialized nations in math scores, down near Serbia and Uruguay. However, one study showed U.S. students believed their scores would be the highest of any nation.
Half of all 17 year olds do not have the math skills required to work in an auto plant, according to the President’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel.