The United States

USA1As a nation, we have fallen to 49th among 159 nations in world literacy rankings. While the literacy threshold for stable employment, life satisfaction, and world comprehension is rising, American competitive proficiency is declining.

Literacy level has a direct correlation to success. An astounding number of youths, many of whom leave school early on, simply cannot read well enough to succeed in school or in society. At the lowest literacy level, 43% live in poverty, compared to 4% of those at the highest reading level. The lowest literacy level earn a median income of $240 per week and work an average of only 19 weeks per year. Seventy percent of those in the lowest two literacy levels have no job or a part-time job. Seventy-five percent of unemployed adults have reading or writing difficulties.



In addition to unemployment, illiteracy is linked to problems with violence, incarceration, health, and achievement. The link between illiteracy and incarceration rate is so strong that some states determine the number of prison cells to build based on 4th grade reading levels. Over 70% of prison inmates cannot read above the 4th grade level, and 85% percent of young people in the juvenile court system cannot read.

The number one indicator or risk factor in healthcare has been found not to be improper diet, smoking, excessive drinking, obesity, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, or poverty. The number one indicator or risk factor in healthcare is literacy rates.


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