Washington, D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis are the top three most literate cities in the U.S.
Washington, D.C. takes its lumps for hosting the federal government, but it is getting its props for also hosting the most literate citizens in the United States.
Central Connecticut State University released its annual study of the most literate cities in the United States, and Washington, D.C. was atop the list for the fourth consecutive year. Seattle, Wash., followed closely behind.
CCSU ranks 77 U.S. cities with a population of at least 250,000, and bases its rankings on the number of bookstores, the educational level of residents, the amount of newspaper circulation, the use of online reading materials, the extent of the library system, and magazine resources.
CCSU stated clearly in its report that the focus of the study is not on reading skills. “This isn’t about whether or not people can read, it’s about whether they do read,’’ said Dr. John W. Miller, the CCSU President.
The website 24/7 Wall St. expanded on the CCSU report to explain just how these cities attain their reading level.
No. 1 – Washington, D.C.
Washington not only has more readers, they use more reading tools than citizens of other cities. More than 160 journals and 215 magazines had at least 500 regular readers in D.C. in 2013, and the city has more than 400,000 newspapers in circulation during the week. The capital’s citizens also ranked high in the use of e-readers and other mobile devices.
No. 2 – Seattle
Seattle is known for its rain, but visitors are always amazed at the number of bookstores the city hosts. Seattle is also home to 27 different libraries. Seattle also has a high ranking for educational attainment, as nearly 80 percent of adults in the city had at least a bachelor’s degree.
No. 3 – Minneapolis
Well, sure, what else are you going to do when it’s freezing and snow-covered outside all year long? Minneapolis has 41 libraries as of 2010, and those libraries reported one of the highest circulation numbers in the country. Minneapolis has a large number of libraries, and its residents are more likely to read a newspaper than those in any other city than Newark.
No. 4 – Atlanta
Atlanta has more Sunday newspapers and more newspapers in general than most U.S. cities. There were more than 150 Sunday papers per 100 residents in circulation, and more than 55 papers in circulation per 100 residents during the week. Also, 75 publishers had at least 2,500 magazines in circulation in Atlanta in 2013.
No. 5 – Pittsburgh
Other than Cleveland, Pittsburgh residents were the most likely to use a library. High school graduation rates were among the best in the country in 2012, and the University of Pittsburgh’s 35,000 students also helped lift the city into the top 5.Nos. 6-10 were Denver, St. Paul (Minn.), Boston, St. Louis and San Francisco.
The least literate cities of those studied were Bakersfield, Calif., at the bottom, followed by Corpus Christi, Tex., Stockton, Calif., El Paso, Tex., and San Antonio.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.