Special Report

Most and Least Literate States

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

36. Tennessee
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 13.2% (17th highest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.1% (10th lowest)
> Public libraries: 4.3 per 100,000 (14th lowest)
> Registered library users: 50.5% of pop. (18th lowest)

Source: BCFC / Getty Images

37. Arizona
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 13.1% (18th highest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 28.9% (21st lowest)
> Public libraries: 3.2 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> Registered library users: 46.4% of pop. (12th lowest)

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

38. South Carolina
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 14.7% (13th highest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 27.2% (13th lowest)
> Public libraries: 3.9 per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> Registered library users: 50.9% of pop. (19th lowest)

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

39. Oklahoma
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 12.3% (21st highest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 25.2% (8th lowest)
> Public libraries: 5.5 per 100,000 (21st lowest)
> Registered library users: 48.2% of pop. (14th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

40. Arkansas
> Adults lacking basic prose literacy skills: 13.7% (14th highest)
> Pct. adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 22.4% (3rd lowest)
> Public libraries: 7.9 per 100,000 (16th highest)
> Registered library users: 55.4% of pop. (18th highest)