Teen Literacy Crisis By The Numbers

Teens with low literacy are more likely to become pregnant, drop out of school, and be unable to find employment.

The future is limited for teens with low literacy skills.

Underserved teens face tremendous barriers to reading. Fortunately, that’s where The Book Truck comes in. We improve literacy by giving free books to foster care and low-income teens in a way that gets even the most reluctant reader to pick up a book. Learn more.

%

60 % of teens in the U.S. do not read at grade level.

%

70% of inmates in American prisons cannot read above a 4th-grade level.

%

43% of adults with low literacy live in poverty.

More teen literacy statistics.

Number 44

California is ranked 44th in the nation for lowest teen literacy.

300 to 1 reading ratio

In middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio of age-appropriate books to children is 13 to 1 while in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 to every 300 children.

3x more likely

Girls with low literacy are 3x more likely to get pregnant.

3000 per day

Everyday 3000 students with low literacy drop out of school.

The benefits of reading are boundless.

Teens who read more perform better in vocabulary, spelling, writing, and mathematics (Sullivan & Brown 2013). Those with access to their own books also have significantly higher reading scores. Additionally, reading has been shown to produce the same health benefits as deep relaxation so readers have lower stress, higher self-esteem, and less depression than non-readers (Dovey 2015). In fact, research shows that reading enjoyment is more important for educational success than socio-economic status (OECD 2002).

The benefits of reading are boundless.

Teens who read more perform better in vocabulary, spelling, writing, and mathematics (Sullivan & Brown 2013). Those with access to their own books also have significantly higher reading scores. Additionally, reading has been shown to produce the same health benefits as deep relaxation so readers have lower stress, higher self-esteem, and less depression than non-readers (Dovey 2015). In fact, research shows that reading enjoyment is more important for educational success than socio-economic status (OECD 2002).