Wednesday, November 30, 2005

America's Most Literate Cities

USA Today had an article on 11/28 about a study just released entitled "America's Most Literate Cities." This is the third year that Central Connecticut State University has done this study. It ranks the top 69 U.S. cities with populations exceeding 250,000 according to how literate their populations are.

In previous years, the study has based the rankings on five factors: booksellers, educational attainment, library resources, newspaper circulation and periodical publication. This year, for the first time, they added a sixth variable: Internet resources.

The definition of Internet resources included: the number of library Internet connections per 10,000 library service population; the number of commercial and public wireless Internet access points per capita; the number of Internet book orders per capita; and the percentage of the adult population that has read a newspaper on the Internet.

The top three cities for 2005 were: (1) Seattle, (2) Minneapolis and (3) Washington, D.C. The worst three cities were: (67) Corpus Christi, (68) El Paso and (69) Stockton, CA.

I found it interesting that the addition of Internet resources improved the Texas scores considerably (if you don't live in Corpus Christi or El Paso). Here are four Texas cities that I was interested in with their ranking for this year in parentheses and their ranking for last year in brackets: (16) Austin [22]; (45) Fort Worth [56]; (48) Dallas [54]; and (53) Houston [63].

You can read the study protocol and view the rankings at

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