Facts About Literacy

  • 66% of Cleveland residents are functionally illiterate
  • Some Cleveland neighborhoods have an illiteracy rate as high as 95%
  • Functional illiteracy is defined as having math, reading, or language skills below a 4th grade level
  • At this level, people may struggle to read a bus schedule, medicine bottle or job application
  • An adult without a high school diploma earns 42% less than an adult with a diploma
  • A mother’s reading skill is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, and outweighs other factors like neighborhood and family income
  • The percentage of adults without a high school diploma who live in poverty is twice that of those who have a high school diploma
  • Why Adult Literacy Matters [infographic]
  • More facts about literacy

Sources:  Center for Urban Poverty and Social Change, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University; National Assessment of Adult Literacy, Ohio Literacy Resource Center