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Minneapolis stays third in literacy rating; St. Paul falls to seventh

An annual literacy study of the nation’s largest cities again has Washington, D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis in the top three spots.

St. Paul fell to seventh, after finishing sixth in 2012.

USA Today chronicles the results of the study conducted by Central Connecticut State University President John Miller. The study looks at  the number of bookstores, library resources, Internet use, educational levels and newspaper circulation.

The top 10, according to the study:

  • 1. Washington (same as 2012)
  • 2. Seattle (same as 2012)
  • 3. Minneapolis (same as 2012)
  • 4. (tie) Atlanta (up from No. 8)
  • 4. (tie) Pittsburgh (held No. 4 alone in 2012)
  • 6. Denver (down from No. 5)
  • 7. St. Paul (down from No. 6)
  • 8. Boston (down from No. 7)
  • 9. St. Louis (same as 2012)
  • 10. San Francisco (up from No. 11)

Some of Miller’s take-aways from the new study, according to the story:

• Parts of the “Rust Belt aren’t so rusty” when it comes to public libraries. Cleveland is No. 1, and Pittsburgh is No. 2, based on the number of branches, volumes, circulation and staff per capita.

• Boston is No. 27 in education levels, despite being home to scores of colleges, because of “its abysmal high school dropout rates.”

• Washington, not New York (No. 16 on the overall list), scores highest for the number of magazine and journal publishers “because of all the trade publications devoted to politics and the federal government.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Kenneth Adams on 02/08/2014 - 10:53 pm.

    Of course DC is the most literate city in the country with Politics & Prose and Kramer Books bookstores, and Seattle is second because it has UW Bookstore; and both have a LOT of readers and smart people. On the whole I don’t think curiosity is valued here, but maybe my sample is skewed.

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