Tuesday, September 05, 2006

United States Literacy Facts

Literacy is the stream that flows through all the fields.
-- Barbara Tornholm

United States Facts

42% of adults between the ages of 25 and 67 have, at most, a high school education (U.S. Census 2000).

20% of preschool aged children live in poverty and are likely to be part of families where the parent with the highest education has less than a high school education (National Institute of Family Literacy).

2/3 of all jobs, and the majority of jobs that pay wages sufficient to support a family, require skills associated with at least some education beyond high school (Carnevale & Derochers, 2003).

In 1999, only 65 % of those without a high school diploma worked full-time, while 77% of those with a bachelor’s degree worked full-time.

In 2004, high school graduates earned 38% more than those with less than a high school education. The average annual earnings for full-time workers 25 or older without a high school diploma were $22,232, while those with a high school diploma made $30,640, those with some college made $35,970, those with an associate’s degree made $37,480 and those with a bachelor’s degree made $53,581.

The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) estimates that 30 million adults in the U.S. –14% of the country’s adult population – have only the most minimal ability to read and write in English.

67% of prison inmates nationwide are high school dropouts.

22.2% of the foreign-born population had less than a 9th grade education, compared to 4.7% of the native population (Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau 2000).

Americans spent $64.38 per taxpayer on video games in 2002. The federal government spent $3.56 per taxpayer on adult basic education and literacy instruction in the same period.
66% of high school graduates do not have the skills and qualifications necessary to attend college (Center for Civic Innovation at the Manhattan Institute, 2005).

70% of the more than one million inmates in state and federal prisons are functionally illiterate or read below the eighth grade level (National Adult Literacy Survey, 1994).

46% of prison inmates do not have a high school diploma (NCFL, 2002).

One in five adults – over 40 million Americans – has pressing literacy needs (NALS).

Almost 50% of adults on welfare do not have a high school diploma or GED (National Institute for Literacy).

43% of people with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty, 17% receive food stamps, and 70% have no job or a part-time job (National Institute for Literacy).

American businesses are estimated to lose over $60 billion in productivity each year due to employees’ lack of basic skills (National Institute for Literacy).

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