5. Denver, Colo.
> Weekday newspaper circulation per 100: 66.56 (7th highest)
> Pct. adults with college degree: 43.0% (9th highest)
> Retail bookstores per 10,000: 1.82 (28th most)
> Median income: $47,371 (29th highest)
Denver residents are among the nation’s most active online readers. According to CCSU, the city’s readers received top scores for using online resources for reading, whether ordering books, viewing newspapers online or using e-book readers. Denver residents are avid print newspaper readers as well, as measured by total newspaper circulation, for which the city ranked sixth in the nation. Denver also has one of the nation’s best library systems, as measured by the number of books, facilities and staff per capita. According to the Denver Public Library, a $68 million increase in Denver’s city budget will allow the library system to increase its hours by 40% in 2013.
4. Pittsburgh, Pa.
> Weekday newspaper circulation per 100: 56.71 (9th highest)
> Pct. adults with college degree: 33.1% (26th highest)
> Retail bookstores per 10,000: 2.67 (15th most)
> Median income: $35,947 (13th lowest)
Pittsburgh performed extremely well in every category measured, with the exception of Internet usage, for which it ranked 42nd among the cities. Pittsburgh is not a particularly wealthy city, with a 2011 median income of $35,947, compared to the national median of $50,502. However, the city also has very little poverty, with just 10.4% of residents living below the poverty line, versus 15.1% nationwide. The city’s libraries and booksellers are among its biggest strengths. Pittsburgh has more independent bookstores, relative to population, than any city in the country.
3. Minneapolis, Minn.
> Weekday newspaper circulation per 100: 77.44 (3rd highest)
> Pct. adults with college degree: 46.5% (6th highest)
> Retail bookstores per 10,000: 4.13 (9th most)
> Median income: $46,682 (33rd highest)
Only Oakland, Calif., and neighboring St. Paul. had more bookstores per capita than Minneapolis. In addition, city residents are among the most likely in the nation to read a newspaper — the city had the nation’s second highest per-capita Sunday circulation, and the third-highest weekday circulation. Minneapolis remains one of the nation’s most educated as well. In 2011, 88.2% of adults over 25 had a high school diploma and 46.5% had a college degree — both among the nation’s better rates for large cities. Many workers are also employed in fields requiring higher education, such as professional, scientific and management occupation, which together employ 16.3% of residents — the eighth-highest among all major cities.
2. Seattle, Wash.
> Weekday newspaper circulation per 100: 35.71 (24th highest)
> Pct. adults with college degree: 56.2% (the highest)
> Retail bookstores per 10,000: 2.05 (22nd most)
> Median income: $61,037 (7th highest)
Seattle ranks among the top 10 of all 76 cities measured in every literacy category except newspaper circulation. Seattle is second in the country in the educational attainment category, which considers both the percentage of residents with a high school degree and the percentage with at least a bachelor’s degree. More than 56% of the population over the age of 25 in 2011 had at least a bachelor’s degree, the highest percentage among all the major cities. Seattle was also among the top 10 for adults with a high school education, at more than 92%. More than 13% of households earned more than $200,000 in 2011, the fourth-highest percentage among all cities. Meanwhile, the median household income that year was $61,037, seventh-highest of all cities.
1. Washington, D.C.
> Weekday newspaper circulation per 100: 74.79 (4th highest)
> Pct. adults with college degree: 52.5% (3rd highest)
> Retail bookstores per 10,000: 1.94 (24th most)
> Median income: $63,124 (6th highest)
For the third consecutive year, Washington ranked as the most literate city in the nation. Among all cities, Washington ranked number one in the use of online literature resources. Especially impressive: the city has the highest relative number of households with an e-book reader of any major city in the nation. Washington also has more magazines with a circulation of 2,500 or more, and more journals with a circulation of 500 or more, per capita than any other major city in the nation. As of 2011, 52.5% of residents had a college degree — third-highest among large U.S. cities. The city also has more high-earning households than any major city in the country, with close to one in four earning more than $200,000.