How important is reading? Just check out these statistics!

 Over the next several postings, we will be opening up a discussion on the importance of reading to and with your children.


The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television- spending more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree!

Unfortunately, people are not reading as much as they used to. Less than a third of 13-year-olds were daily readers in 2007, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. For 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20 year period.

It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems.

60 percent of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.

U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy.

More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate.

Approximately 50 percent of the nation’s unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.

Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 – 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.

21 million Americans can’t read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can’t read their diplomas.

Out-of-school reading habits of students has shown that even 15 minutes a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year.

There are almost half a million words in our English Language – the largest language on earth, incidentally – but a third of all our writing is made up of only twenty-two words.

56 percent of young people say they read more than 10 books a year, with middle school students reading the most. Some 70 percent of middle school students read more than 10 books a year, compared with only 49 percent of high school students.

When the State of Arizona projects how many prison beds it will need, it factors in the number of kids who read well in fourth grade.

Learn more-

2 responses to “How important is reading? Just check out these statistics!”

  1. Plum McCauley says:

    This is a problem that no amount of money will fix. If we consider those letters that Ken Burns used in his documentary “Civil War,” letters sent home to loved ones written by young farm boys that were positively exquisite in their handling of the English language, we have to accept that literacy is not an educational problem but a familial one. Reading has to be a VALUE in a family for it to happen at all. And that is a cultural problem, which is why the U.S. ranks so low in this category.

  2. Evelyn J Timmons says:

    I’m doing a persuasive speech and I’m doing it on why it is important to read

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