Skip Navigation LinksPDE > Teachers & Administrators > Federal Programs > Literacy is for Life > Infographics

Infographics

Infographics are a great way to visually share facts and statistics. Share these literacy specific infographics on social media or other communications.

Infographic Pictures

To download, select picture (will open in new window), right-click on image and select Save Picture as...

On average, adults at the lowest level of literacy are almost 10x more likely to be living below the poverty line 13% of PA adults lack even basic literacy skills 14.5% of American adults read at a below basic level
14.5% of American Adults with low literacy skills are unemployed. 14% of adult Americans demonstrated a "below basic" literacy level in 2003 Out-of-school reading habits of students has shown that even 15 min a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year
19% of high school graduates can't read 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare
To participate fully in society and the workplace in 2020 citizens will need powerful literacy abilities that, until now, have been achieved by only a small % of the population. More than 20% of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage. 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage.
21 million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate, 1/5 high school graduates can't read their diplomas. 21% of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level. There are almost half a million words in our English language - the largest language on earth, incidentally - but a third of all our writing is made up of only 22 words.
23% of 8th grade U.S. students scored below the basic level in reading, which means that they do not have even partial mastery of the appropriate grade-level knowledge and skills The educational careers of 25-40% of American children are imperiled because they don't read well enough, quickly enough, or easily enough. 25% of 12th grade U.S. students scored below the basic level in reading, which means that they do not have even partial mastery of the appropriate grade-level knowledge and skills.
26% of 12th graders cannot read at the basic level. 26% of 8th graders cannot read at the basic level. 26% of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all leters of the alphabet.  This is compared to 14% of children who were read to less frequently.
29% exhibited a "basic" reading level. It is estimated that more than 2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. For those who enter the workplace, the private industry spends an estimated $3.1 billion annually to bolster the literacy skills of entry-level workers.
32 million adults in the U.S. can't read.  That's 14% of the population. 36 million American adults need literacy help. 37% of 4th graders cannot read at the basic level.
39% of students who took the ACT were not ready for college-level reading. 3 out of 4 jobs in PA require education beyond high school. Only 3% of the 93 million undereducated adult Americans have access to adult education and family literacy services primarily due to limited funding.
Students who reported having all four types of reading materials in their home scored, on average, higher than those who reported having fewer reading materials. Only 40% of 4th graders in PA read at or above proficiency. About 40% of employers indicated that they were dissatisfied with high school graduates' ability to read and understand compliacted materials, think analytically, and solve real-world problems.
Only 42% of 8th graders in PA read at or above proficiency. Low literacy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children. 44% of American 4th grade students cannot read fluently, even when they read grade-level stories aloud under supportive testing conditions.
44% of American adults do not read a book in a year 45 million are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level. Between 46 and 51% of American adults have an income well below the poverty level because of their inability to read.
46% of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription medicine. Only 48% of parents read to their preschoolers daily. Over the past 4 decades the literacy performance of 17-year-olds on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has remained flat.
In 4th grade classrooms where parent involvement was high, students scored 28 points higher than the national average in reading comprehension. If 50 1st graders have trouble reading, 44 of them will have reading problems in the 4th grade. 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an 8th grade level.
50% of American adults are unable to read an 8th-grade-level book. Approximately 50% of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as reading prescription drug labels. 50% of the unemployed between the ages of 16 and 21 cannot read well enough to be considered functionally literate.
More than 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic.  They are deliberately sought after because they have superb problem-solving skills and excellent 3D and spatial awareness. Approximately 50% of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. 53% of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally "almost every day," while only 20% f 8th graders could say the same.
56% of young people say they read more than 10 books a year, with middle school students reading the most. 60% of young children who were read to frequently were able to count 20 or higher. More than 60% of U.S. middle and high school students scored below the "proficient" level in reading achievement.
6 out of 10 households do not buy a single book ina year. 70% of middle school students read more than 10 books a year, compared with only 49% of high school students. 75% of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy.
85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading. If a reading problem is identified early, and the proper intervention is applied 90-95% of children "at risk" for reading failure will become fluent readers. 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare.
93 million American adults (45% of the adult population) have limited reading, writing, and math skills. In tough economic times, adult learners need literacy programs and basic education more than ever.  But these are also the times when federal and state funding for adult literacy are most likely to be reduced or severly cut.  Without the assistance of local programs and tutors, people who vitally need literacy education will also be more likely to need unemployment benefits and other forms of public assistance, adding to the drain on already-strapped local communities. On average, adults at the lowest levels of literacy are more than 3x as likely to receive food stamps.
On average, adults at the lowest levels of literacy work only 18-19 weeks each year. More than ever, students need advanced literacy skills to succeed in a fast-paced global economy. As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well-educated than the previous.
International measures of reading place American 15-year-olds 17th among developed nations in reading, lagging behind countries such as Estonia, Liechtenstein, and Poland. Americans who are below average in literacy are struggling to find jobs, stay healthy, and support their families. Americans who need basic literacy instruction also need financial literacy skills.
In today's tech-centric world, basic literacy skills simply aren't enough. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3-4x more likely to drop out in later years. When children scribble and are able to read their writing, they are practicing concepts of learning to read and write.
Many children who have difficult reading are still very bright. Children's academic successes at age 9 and 10 can be attributed to the amount of talk they hear from birth through age 3 2-year colleges has to provide remedial literacy training to 42% of their entering students.
Colleges has to provide remidial literacy training to nearly 1/3 freshmen. It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year The current literacy rate isn't any better than it was 10 years ago.
To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests. Even when we combine all of our government and philanthropic funding, we only have enough resources to help 3 million adults with their literacy skills. Those with a high school educaiton or below now qualify for fewer than 20% of all new jobs in the U.S.
Funding for adult literacy programs descreased by $6 million in 2011. Half of incoming 9th graders in urban, high poverty schools read three years or more below grade level. Nearly half of American adults have difficulty understanding and using health information.
Nearly half of America's adults are poor readers, or "functionally illiterate." Between 1973 and 2008, the share of jobs in the U.S. economy requiring postsecondary education increased from 28%-59% "The link between delinquency, violence and crime is welded to reading failure."
The literacy proficiences of the population are a key determinant of the quality of the workforce and are found to have close positive association with economic growth and living standards. Research shows that if a school-age student stops reading for a summer, they may lose a month or more of progress they learned in school. Low literacy also affects U.S. health care costs, and can often mean the difference between life and death for patients.
Low literacy costs $72 billion per year in terms of direct health care costs.  This is equal to the amount Medicare pays for physician services, dental services, home health care, drugs, and nursing home care combined. Low literacy hurts the economy by limiting demand for products and stunting job creation. Patients with low literacy skills have a 50% increased risk of hospitalization.
People with low literacy skills struggle with everyday budgeting and more compliacated tasks like comprehending mortgage documents, which means they're often the victims of predatory lenders and financial scams. Low-literate individuals are also twice as likely to be out of work. On average, adults at the lowest levels of literacy earn about $230-$245 per week.
Millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read. The number of people seeking literacy help keeps growing, but overall funding for literacy programs has dropped.
The percentage of Pennsylvania adults who struggle with badic literacy is at around the national average and remains unchanged from 1992. Most children can learn to read if problems are detected by 1st grade and the proper early interventions are implemented. Kids who don't read proficiently by 4th grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
Students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores. When it comes to statewide 8th grade reading proficiency in the U.S., PA is 8th. The average student learns about 3000 words per year in the early school years (8 words per day).
In a study of literacy among 20 "high income" countries; U.S. ranked 12th. Young children who were read to frequently are also more likely to write their own names. In a class of 20 studnets, few, if any, teachers can find even 5 minutes of time in a day to devote to reading with each student.
Research shows up to 10 TV hours a week has no impact on kids' grades, but after that, grades decline. Of all 17-year-olds, 13% are functionally illiterate. 1st graders can hear and understand 3rd and 4th grade books that they can't read yet.
2.2 million people each year are added to the adult-illiterate population in the U.S. Approximately 20-30% of school-age children have difficulties learning to read. 35% of children with reading disabilities drop out of school, a rate twice that of their classmates.
Children spend about 900 hours a year in school, 7,800 hours at home.  So, who do you think is their most important teacher? Of Fortune 1000 companies, 90% report that low literacy levels limit their productivity and profitability. By age 3 children from privileged families have heard about 30 million more words than children from underprivileged families.
Place a reading lamp near a child's bed and allow staying up 15 minutes later to read in bed. Boys have 3x the reading difficulties of girls. A student who finished second grade without learning to read has just a 1 in 4 chance of reading at grade level by te end of elementary school.
Children in families living below the poverty line are less likely to be read to daily than those in families living at or above the poverty line. It is critical that young children observe their parents reading and learn why reading is so important in our lives. With TV's closed captioning feature, children can unconsciously absorb words and their sounds.
Children who like reading tend to read more often.  Reading to them early, even as infants, helps. Children who read the most read the best.  This is true at all social levels. Children with the highest reading scores use the library more than those with lower scores.
The average child spends 1,460 hours a year on TV/DVDs and computer games - 4 hours per day. When competent readers are developed through early detection and assistance, they can go on to succeed in both academics and life. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading.  It's never too early to begin reading to your child.
Girls, on average, are 1.5 years ahead of boys in reading in middle school Girls are strongest with verbal, reading and writing skills. The most imporant thing that parents can do is talk and read to their children.
When low-literacy adults improve their reading and writing skills, they become more active in their communities. U.S. private industry spends an estimated $3.1 billion annually to bolster the literacy skills of entry-level workers. Kids who don't read proficiently by 4th grade are 4x likelier to dropout of school.
Of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the U.S., 43% live in poverty. Low-literacy adults are less likely to vote than strong readers. Low literacy costs U.S. businesses about $225 billion a year in lost workforce productivity, crime and loss of tax revenue.
The more types of reading materials in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency. Parents should make language and literacy interactions in the home positive and enjoyable. Adults with limited reading and writing abilities have poorer health and avoid seeing a doctor, leading ot worsening conditions and increased trips to the ER.
Once children learn to apply sounds to letter symbols, they must practice to ensure their reading becomes rapid and fluent. During the early grades, children's reading difficulties can cause them embarrassment, leading to decreasing motivation and self-esteem. Reading is the most important subject because a child needs it to master most other subjects.
The reading level of a child catches up to the listening level at around 8th grade. Students who read more for fun on their own time generally have higher reading scores. As children grow, the time spent reading with them in one sitting should increase from a few minutes to at least 20 minutes.
1 in 4 U.S. adults lack the basic literacy skills required for a typical job. Nationally, 2013 reading scores of 4th and 8th graders improved, respectively, by 8 and 6 percentage points over 1992 scores. 20% of U.S. adults with a high school diploma have only beginning literacy skills.
27% of 12th grade students scored below basic on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress reading test.  This means they don't have even partial mastery of the apprpriate grade-level reading knowledge and skills. 40 million adults in the U.S. read and write at or below the 5th grade level. Nationally, 64% of 8th graders read below level, according to their results on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress reading test.
Nationally, 65% of 4th graders read below grade level, according to their results on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress reading test. 75% of unemployed adults have reading or writing difficulties. More than 8,000 students quit high school every day, limiting their financial potential and ability to become strong members of the workforce.
The above average performance of U.S. students on international comparisons does not necessarily mean that their literacy skills are adequate or satisfactory for the demands of the modern economy and modern democracy Adults at the lower literacy levels are not only less skilled for the changing employment environment but are given less opportunity to participate in training programs to acquire necessary skills. Among adults with low literacy, estimates range from 30% to 80% regarding those with learning disabilities.
Boys lag behind girls in reading proficiency in all 50 states. An estimated 1 in 5 children has serious difficulties learning to read. For every dollar spent on adults overcoming illiteracy, society reaps $7.14 in returns - whether through increased revenues or decreased expenditures.
The good news: 80% of American students graduate from high school.  the bad news: 20% do not. The greatest single indicator of children's success in school is their mothers' level of education. Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books benefit from three more years of educatin than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents' education, occupation and class.
High school dropouts have an unemployment rate 4x greater than that of high school graduates. If the male graduation rate increased b just 5%, the U.S. would see an annual savings of $4.9 billion in crime-related costs. In the early 1980s, the U.S. led the world in high school and college graduation rates.  Today, the U.S. ranks, respectively, 20th and 16th.
Studies have proven that increased family engagement in educational programs is linked with increases in child reading achievement and other academic successes (such as high school graduation rates). In the U.S., more than 30 million adults do not have a high school diploma. To the extent that high school success, as well as later educational and economic success, depends on the acquisition of knowledge - based literacy and compregension skills in middle school, many U.S. students enter high school in need of substantial improvement in literacy.
More than 60% of 12th grade students scored below proficient on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress reading test. Perhaps most heartbreaking is the long-term effect that low literacy in adults has on children-children who never hear a bedtime story or receive help with homework because their parent can't read. More than 1/3 of all juvenile offenders read below the 4th-grade level.
1/3 of all children-and more than half of low-income and minority youth-fail to graduate from high school on time. Nationally, only 1/3 of students entering high school are proficient in reading. Over the past four decades, the share of jobs requiring some form of postsecondary education continued to rise, while the literacy performance of American 13 and 17 year olds remained flat.
Over time, the summer learning slide can add up to the equivalent of three years of reading loss by the end of 5th grade. To be fully literate in today's complex society, a person must be able to read, write, do math and use a computer. 2/3 of 8th graders do not read proficiently at grade level.
About 2/3 of 4th graders, 3/4 of 8th graders, 3/4 of 12th graders were reading at the basic level or above in 2011.  About 1/3 of students at each grade level were reading at the proficient level. the U.S. military spends $70 million per year on remediation for recruits. The U.S. ranked 16th in literacy out of 24 countries in a recent assessment of adults' skills.
Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. -Dr. Seuss Wear the old coat and buy the new book. - Austin Phelps Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another.  Books break the shackles of time - proof that humans can work magic. -Carl Sagan
We read to know we are not alone. -C.S. Lewis Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting -Edmund Burke I will defend the importance of bedtime stories to my last gasp. -J.K. Rowling
Read.  Everything you can get your hands on.  Read until words become your friends.  Then when you need to find one, they will jump into your mind, waving their hands for you to pick them. -Karen Witemeyer Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty.  It should be offered to them as a precious gift. -Kate DiCamillo Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that dya happier. -Kathleen Norris
Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere. -Mary Schmich Any book that helps a child form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep continuing needs, is good for him. -Maya Angelou When I say to a parent, 'read to a child,' I don't want it to sound like medicine.  I want it to sound like chocolate. -Mem Fox
Books are a uniquely portable magic. -Stephen King A lot of people ask me if I were shipwreched and could only have one book, what would it be?  I always say, How to Build a Boat. -Stephen Wright To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. -Victor Hugo
So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well:  They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky. - William James He that loves reading has everything within his reach. - William Godwin There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. - Walt Disney
Today a reader tomorrow a leader. - Margaret Fuller Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. - Kofi Annan It is books that are the key to the wide world; if you can't do anything else, read all that you can. - Jane Hamilton
There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world.  Love of books is the best of all. - Jacqueline Kennedy Everything you need for [a] better future and success has already been written.  And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library. - Henri Frederic Amiel A house without books is like a room without windows. - Heinrich Mann
A book is a gift you can open again and adain. - Garrison Keillor Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. - Frederick Douglass There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only childen who have not found the right book. - Frank Serafini
The more you read, the more things you will know.  The more you learn, the more places you will go. - Dr. Seuss Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time. - E.P. Whipple A book is like a garden carried in the pocket - Chinese proverb
77% of parents with children ages 0-5 say they started reading aloud to them before age 1, with 40% saying they began when their children were less than 3 months old. Summer learning shortfall in low-income elementary students can affect whether they earn high-school diplomas or go to college. Children ages 6-11 and their parents agree that they enjoy read-aloud time because it's a special time together and reading together is fun.
Literacy is essential for people and countries to be competitive in the global economy, but open positions often aren't filled due to a lack of literate workers. When looking for children's books to read for fun, both kids and parents want a good story, and similar percentages want books that make kids laugh. 86% of students ages 6-17 agree it is very important for their future to be a good reader, and 58% like reading books for fund.
61% of low-income students ages 6-17 said they read for fun in school as much as or more than at home, while 32% of high-income students ages 6-17 said the same. 33% of students ages 6-17 said their class had a designated time to independently read books of choice, but only 17% said their class did it nearly every day. 60% of parents of children ages 0-5 received advice that kids should be read aloud to from birth, but just 47% of low-income parents received this advice vs. 74% of high-income parents.
The more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of the child's vocabulary at age 3. The percentage of adults ages 18-24 who read a book in the past year remained at 52% from 2002 to 2012, despite the influence of social media.  This compared to 57% and 55% of all adults. 28% of children ages 3-5 and not living in poverty recognized all letters of the alphabet, compared to 10% of same-age children living in poverty.
Allowing children to pick the books they want and turn the pages themselves keeps them active and engaged in learning. Encouraging older children to sound out words and explaining what a word means if it isn't clear helps to build their vocabularies. Reading picture books to babies and toddlers is important because the earlier children acquire language, the more likely they are to master it.
Reading picture books to children not only exposes them to more words, but has a leveling effect for families with less education and a more limited vocabulary. Reading alout is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding, which form the basis for learning how to read. Reading aloud, talking, rhyming and singing every day during children's first three years foster brain development and help them reach their full potential.
Reading aloud in the early years exposes children to rare words and ideas not often words and ideas not often found in day-to-day conversations or screen time. Classroom independent reading programs that invite reading choice and promote reading pleasure result in kids who not only read, but want to read. Decoding is the first step in reading.  Children can decode when they understand that each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding sound.
Students who aren't reading and writing as grade level by 3rd grade fall further behind their classmates and rarely ever catch up. Lower-income parents are more likely to view library services as very important. 52% of students ages 6-17 who read independently at school say their wish they could do it more often.
Children whose parents are frequent readers are more likely to be frequent readers as well. 54% of U.S. students and 71% of parents named strong reading skills as a child's most important skill. The mere presence of books iin the home profoundly impacts a child's academic achievement.
Reading and following directions are skills children need for life. Children who don't learn to read constitute approximately 17% of the population. 50-90% of young children with persistent communication difficulties also will have reading difficulties.
The speaking skills of children ages 3-6 are predictive of their literacy skills from ages 8-12 45% of 17-year-olds in 2013 said they read by choice once or twice a year; in 1984, 64% said they read once or more a week. On average, students read eight books over the summer; however, one in five 12-17 year olds and on in fix low-income youth don't read any books over the summer.
Children read for fun less and less as they get older, with 45% of 17 year olds reading by choice just once or twice a year. Half of students go to teachers or librarians and half go to similar-age peers to get ideas about books to read for fun. The more children read, the better their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension will be.
Increasing the amount of leisure reading over time improves fluency Adults who read proficiently are 2 to 3 times more likely to volunteer and attend cultural, or sporting events. high school seniors' assessment scores in math, science, civics and history correlate with the number of books in their homes.
Reading aloud gives children the opportunity to practice listening a crucial skill for kindergarten and beyond Frequent reading leads to becoming a proficient reader, which helps a child thrive personally and academically. At age 5 children's vocabulary is predictive of their educational success at age 30.
Socially disadvantaged children are more than 2 times as likely to have lower language skills. Children ages 2-7 were read to, on average, 45 minuts daily in 1999, but just 30 minutes in 2013. Girls tend to read more than boys-18% of boys say they read daily, while 30% of girls say they read daily.
Children who often read independently can acquire 5,000-10,000 new words a year, rather than the average of 2,000-3,000 Adults ages 18-29 read an average of 9 books per year in 2014 compared to 13 for thos 30 and over. Reading to children teaches them to listen, and good listeners are going to be good readers.
Families living in poverty are much less likely to read aloud to their infants and toddlers. Reading aloud is the most important activity for language development and promotes early literacy.  
Reading for pleasure is a lifelong gift of entertainment and learning. Amy Dickinson I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. Anna Quindlen Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words! Betty%20Smith
One of the greatest gifts adults can give-to their offspring and to their society-is to read to children. Carl Sagan The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest people of the past centuries. Descartes I try to teach my students that books are a mirror, reflecting their own lives, and a windows giving them a peek into someone else's. Donalyn Miller
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. Lady Montagu I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card. Laura Bush Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open. Laura Bush
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. Mark Twain There is no substitute for books in the life of a child. May Ellen Chase You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.  Paul Sweeney
It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. S I Hayakawa Reading is important because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. Tomie dePaola The art of conversation is that are of hearing as well as of being heard. William Hazlitt
Copyright © 2016 Governor Tom Wolf - All Rights Reserved