Shocking (and Sad) Statistics about Literacy and Reading

According to The Literacy Company and Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics:

  • Over 50 of NASA employees are dyslexic. They actually sought after by the organization because they have superb problem-solving skills.
  • More than 20 percent of adults read at or below the fifth grad level; this is well below what they need to earn a living wage.
  • Nearly three out of five prison inmates are illiterate.
  • Eighty-five percent of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.
  • More than 75 percent of those on welfare are illiterate.
  • More than 1 million children drop out of school every year.
  • About 50 percent of America’s unemployed youths are functionally illiterate, meaning they can’t carry out simple tasks like balancing a checkbook or reading drug levels.
  • Forty-four million American adults are poor readers or "functionally illiterate."
  • Twenty-one million American adults can’t read at all; one-fifth of high school graduates can’t read their diplomas.
  • One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • Forty-two percent of college graduates never read another book.
  • Seventy percent of Americans haven’t visited a bookstore in five or more years.
  • Fifty-seven percent of new books are not read to completion.

For more workforce statistics and demographic trends, visit the Perfect Labor Storm website.


Ira S Wolfe