Reading, Literacy & Education Statistics

Browse some of the amazing statistics we've found over the years. These are great statistics about education, literacy and reading.

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Education Statistics

33% of children in California will not finish high school. 

Reference
California Department of Education
3.8   (432 votes)

The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years (8 words per day). 

Reference
Baumann & Kameenui, 1991 / Beck & McKeown, 1991 / Graves, 1986
3.8   (387 votes)

Five to six year olds have a vocabulary of 2,500-5,000 words. 

Reference 3.7   (433 votes)

Disadvantaged students in the first grade have a vocabulary that is approximately half that of an advantaged student (2,900 and 5,800 respectively). 

Reference
Graves, 1986 / White, Graves & Slater, 1990
3.7   (354 votes)

54 percent of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only one-fifth of teachers feel very prepared to serve them. 

Reference
Richard Riley - Former Secretary of Education
3.7   (323 votes)

14% of all individuals have a learning disability. 

Reference
Learning Disabilities Association
3.7   (306 votes)

The educational careers of 25 to 40 percent of American children are imperiled because they don't read well enough, quickly enough, or easily enough. 

Reference
Committee on Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council, 1998
3.6   (363 votes)

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

Reference
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
3.6   (345 votes)

Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. 

Reference
A Nation Still at Risk, U.S. Department of Education, 1999
3.5   (275 votes)

Literacy Statistics

Over 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic. They are deliberately sought after because they have superb problem solving skills and excellent 3D and spatial awareness. 

Reference
Mary-Margaret Scholtens, director of the Alternative Programs Providing Learning Experiences Group, Copyright ? 2005, Jonesboro Sun
3.8   (373 votes)

44 million adults in the U.S. can't read well enough to read a simple story to a child. 

Reference
National Adult Literacy Survey (1992) NCED, U.S. Department of Education
3.7   (286 votes)

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

Reference
U.S. Department of Education
3.7   (265 votes)

Over one million children drop out of school each year, costing the nation over $240 billion in lost earnings, forgone tax revenues, and expenditures for social services. 

Reference 3.7   (254 votes)

It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year. 

Reference
United Way, "Illiteracy: A National Crisis"
3.7   (252 votes)

Dyslexia affects one out of every five children - ten million in America alone. 

Reference
Sally Shaywitz, M.D.,2004
3.7   (237 votes)

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

Reference
According to a separate report released by the Educational Testing Service.
3.7   (212 votes)

More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage. 

Reference
National Institute for Literacy, Fast Facts on Literacy, 2001
3.6   (356 votes)

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

Reference
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
3.6   (282 votes)

More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. About three in five of America's prison inmates are illiterate. 

Reference
Washington Literacy Council
3.6   (280 votes)

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. 

Reference
National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education
3.6   (258 votes)

Nearly half of America's adults are poor readers, or "functionally illiterate." They can't carry out simply tasks like balancing check books, reading drug labels or writing essays for a job. 

Reference
National Adult Literacy Survery of 1993
3.6   (215 votes)

To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020, citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population. 

Reference
National Council on Teachers of English Standards for the English Language Arts
3.6   (196 votes)

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. 

Reference
Department of Justice, 1993
3.5   (281 votes)

Reading Statistics

The average reader spends about 1/6th of the time they spend reading actually rereading words. 

Reference
No reference information is available for this statistic.
3.9   (235 votes)

Forty-four percent of American 4th grade students cannot read fluently, even when they read grade-level stories aloud under supportive testing conditions. 

Reference
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Pinnell et al., 1995
3.9   (224 votes)

15% of all 4th graders read no faster than 74 words per minute, a pace at which it would be difficult to keep track of ideas as they are developing within the sentence and across the page. 

Reference 3.9   (204 votes)

15 percent of the population has specific reading disorders. Of these 15 percent as many as 1/3 may show change in the brain structure. 

Reference
Albert M. Galaburda, M.D., Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
3.9   (190 votes)

It is estimated that as many as 15 percent of American students may be dyslexic. 

Reference
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
3.9   (188 votes)

Good readers in 5th grade may read 10 times as many words as poor readers over a school year. 

Reference 3.9   (188 votes)

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. 

Reference
Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988
3.8   (312 votes)

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. 

Reference
Paul Kropp "The Reading Solution"
3.8   (282 votes)

46% of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription medicine. 

Reference
Journal of American Medical Association
3.8   (276 votes)

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. 

Reference
National Education Association press statement, March 2, 2001
3.8   (262 votes)

In a class of 20 students, few if any teachers can find even 5 minutes of time in a day to devote to reading with each student. 

Reference 3.8   (252 votes)

Students who reported having all four types of reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias) in their home scored, on average, higher than those who reporter having fewer reading materials. 

Reference
The Nation's Report Card: Fourth-Grade Reading 2000, April 2001, The National Center for Education Statistics
3.8   (226 votes)

In 1999, only 53 percent of children aged 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line. 

Reference
The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Fast Facts, Family Reading
3.8   (190 votes)

50 percent of American adults are unable to read an eighth grade level book. 

Reference
Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America
3.7   (327 votes)

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. 

Reference
Arizona Republic (9-15-2004) Advertisement by SheaHomes Inc. www.sheahomes.com
3.7   (315 votes)

According to the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 37 percent of fourth graders and 26 percent of eighth graders cannot read at the basic level; and on the 2002 NAEP 26 percent of twelfth graders cannot read at the basic level. That is, when reading grade appropriate text these students cannot extract the general meaning or make obvious connections between the text and their own experiences or make simple inferences from the text. In other words, they cannot understand what they have read. 

Reference
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
3.7   (241 votes)

First grade children with good word recognition skills were exposed to almost twice as many words in their basal readers as were children who had poor word recognition skills. 

Reference 3.6   (224 votes)
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