Urbanism

Not So Literate City

January 27, 2012 | by Nathaniel Popkin

Despite having an enormous student population, Philadelphia ranks 31nd among American cities of 250,000 people or more for literacy. Washington, DC is first, Seattle second, and Minneapolis third in Central Connecticut State University’s annual report. New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and New Orleans all ranked higher than Philadelphia.

The rankings are based on: levels of newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.

What’s interesting–and most surprising to me–is that Philadelphia ranked 39–stunningly low–in library resources. This city maintains–sometimes to the chagrin of politicians looking for fat in the city’s budget–an enormous branch library system, certainly one of the largest in the nation. Can it be that St. Louis, Toledo, and Fort Wayne, Indiana provide more?

The city ranked batter in magazine publication and circulation (#11) and Internet resources (also #11).

Tags:    

About the Author

Nathaniel Popkin Hidden City Daily co-founder Nathaniel Popkinā€™s latest novel, "The Year of the Return," explores race and loss in a year of upheaval, 1976. His book To "Reach the Spring: From Complicity to Consciousness in an Age of Eco-Crisis" is forthcoming in December 2020.

One Comment:

  1. JACK GALGON says:

    Many of these metrics seem antiquated in the digital age. You can read the newspaper and most anything else online, or on a Kindle, etc? This strikes me as one of the more worthless studies I’ve read recently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *