Suspend Your Disbelief

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What's the most literate city in the U.S.?


Image credit: Flickr - Fernando Sanchez

According to the latest study by Central Connecticut State University, Washington, D.C., is the nation’s most literate city. USA Today reports:

The study examines not whether people can read, but whether they actually do. […]

The study, based on 2010, looks at measures for six items — newspapers, bookstores, magazines, education, libraries and the Internet — to determine what resources are available in each city and the extent to which its inhabitants take advantage of them.

Seattle fell from #1 last year to #2, while Minneapolis—another perennial contender for the top spot—took the bronze. Interestingly, some smaller cities like Cleveland, Raleigh, NC, and Columbus, OH, made the top of the list, while New York City failed to crack the top 15.

The study has some sobering findings as well:

Were Washington’s top score in 2010 applied to the 2004 rankings, for example, the city would land at No. 7.

The study identifies “worrisome trends” consistent with other national research, including declines in newspaper circulation and book-buying, along with sluggish growth in educational attainment. Increases in Internet usage and stable library patronage aren’t offsetting those declines, it says.

Does your city make the list?

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