Facts and Stats

What is adult literacy?

“Using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” (1)

What is the rate of illiteracy in the United States?

93 million U.S. adults struggle with literacy. (1)
30 million adults fall below the level of basic literacy skills. (1)
11 million adults cannot communicate in English. (1)

In Arkansas …

298,000  function at below basic literacy skills.  (1)
19% of adults have less than a high school diploma. (2)

In Central Arkansas …

145,000 adults have below-basic literacy skills. (1,2)
10% of adults have less than a high school diploma. (2)
5% of the population over 5 years of age speak English less than very well. (2)
Why is adult literacy important?

Literacy skills impact every aspect of adult life. Adults who are more literate are more likely to:

Read to their children and help with homework.
Be employed full time and receive a higher income.
Use the Internet and email.
Vote, volunteer, and access information about current local and national events.

Click here to download the Basic Facts About Literacy Sheet

(1) 2003 National Assessment Survey of Adult Literacy, U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Statistics
(2) American Community Survey, 2006–2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates