The Most and Least Literate U.S. Cities

The Most and Least Literate U.S. Cities

For the fifth year, the nation’s capital has been named the most literate city in the U.S., according to an annual report issued by Central Connecticut State University that ranks the largest U.S. cities on six key indicators of literacy: the number of bookstores, educational attainment, Internet resources, library resources, periodical publishing resources and newspaper circulation. This isn’t based on a reading test score but rather is an assessment of reading culture. It isn’t about whether or not people can read; instead, it about whether or not they do read. Why does Washington, D.C. have such a rich reading culture? Residents are highly educated with 42 percent holding a bachelor’s degree and 19 percent with a graduate or professional degree, the highest in the nation. Bookstores are plentiful, people subscribe to newspapers, magazines and journals and incomes are high. D.C. residents read not only paper books, but also use e-readers and mobile devices.

The top 10 most literate U.S. cities:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  4. Atlanta, Georgia
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. St. Paul, Minnesota
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

The top 10 least literate U.S. cities:

  1. Laredo, Texas
  2. Bakersfield, California
  3. El Paso, Texas
  4. Stockton, California
  5. Anaheim, California
  6. Corpus Christi, Texas
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. Fresno, California
  9. Chula Vista, California
  10. Mesa, Arizona