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Effects of Low Literacy

Young adults with low literacy levels are more likely to live in poverty, and receive government assistance: 43% of people with low literacy skills live in poverty; 17% receive food stamps; and 70% do not have full-time jobs.

Individuals that are not proficient readers are more likely to become involved in crime: 85% of juvenile offenders have a problems reading, and 70% of all prison inmates have low literacy skills.

Poor health outcomes and high costs are linked with low literacy rates.  The annual health cost of low literacy levels is more than $106 billion.

The annual cost to the US economy of low literacy levels is about $225 billion, due to non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue as a result of unemployment.   


Connecticut’s achievement gap is the widest in the nation. That gap begins before children even walk through the kindergarten door, and it exists in every school in every town in the state.
Half the children from Connecticut’s poorest districts do not have the skills they need to enter kindergarten.
While the nation high school drop out rate is decreasing over time, Connecticut’s high school drop out rate actually increased from 2002 to 2009.

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