Special Report

Most and Least Literate States

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

21. Rhode Island
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 8.5% (14th lowest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 34.1% (12th highest)
> Public libraries: 6.6 per 100,000 (20th highest)
> Registered library users: 42.2% of pop. (7th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

22. Indiana
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 8.0% (12th lowest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 25.6% (9th lowest)
> Public libraries: 6.4 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> Registered library users: 51.1% of pop. (21st lowest)

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

23. New Jersey
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 16.9% (5th highest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 38.6% (5th highest)
> Public libraries: 4.9 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> Registered library users: 47.2% of pop. (13th lowest)

Source: sorincolac / Getty Images

24. Alaska
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 9.2% (19th lowest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 29.6% (25th lowest)
> Public libraries: 14.0 per 100,000 (6th highest)
> Registered library users: 46.0% of pop. (11th lowest)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

25. South Dakota
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 7.0% (5th lowest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 28.9% (20th lowest)
> Public libraries: 16.4 per 100,000 (5th highest)
> Registered library users: 42.2% of pop. (6th lowest)