December 28, 2009

Seattle Tops List of Literate Cities

For the third time in five years, Seattle is the most literate large city in the United States (population 250,000 and above), according to Dr. John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University.

Dr. Miller, working with the University’s Center for Public Policy and Social Research, looked at six key indicators of literacy – newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources (including number of libraries, volumes held, and circulation), periodical publishing, educational attainment, and Internet resources – to put together the ranking.

Rounding out the top ten are: Washington, DC; Minneapolis; Pittsburgh; Atlanta; Portland, OR; St. Paul; Boston; Cincinnati; and Denver. Detroit finished 51st of the 75 cities surveyed.

The top five cities in terms of libraries are Cleveland; St. Louis; Pittsburgh; Seattle; and Cincinnati.

Dr. Miller writes:

"For the 2009 edition, I also examined how well the most literate cities fared in other quality of life surveys. What I discovered is that quality tends to be associated with quality, and highly literate cities often rank high in other quality of life metrics.

Cities ranked in the top 10 most literate tend to offer the most active singles’ scenes (Boston, Seattle, Washington, and Atlanta), are safer (Minneapolis, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Cincinnati), more walk-able (Seattle, Washington, DC, Portland, Boston, and Denver), and healthier (Washington, DC and Denver).

They are not, however, immune to financial hard times: only #2 Washington DC has even relatively low unemployment."

[via EarlyWord]

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