Percentage by County of Illiterate Adult Texans
Cameron County 43%
Willacy County 40%
Hidalgo County 50%
Starr County 65%
Zapata County 46%
Basic Prose Literacy Skills (BPLS) "Prose literacy is defined by reading materials arranged in sentences and paragraphs. Examples of prose literacy include newspaper articles, editorials and brochures. Adults who lack BPLS have skills that range from being unable to read and understand any written information to being able only to locate easily identifiable information. In short, commonplace prose text in English, but nothing more advanced. The percentage of those who lack BPLS reflects the magnitude of the adult household population at the lowest level of English literacy."
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences January 2009 National Assessment of Adult Literacy Indirect County and State Estimate of the Percentage of Adults at the Lowest Literacy Level http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009482.pdf http://nces.ed.gov/naal/estimates/StateEstimates.aspx Copyright Information | Emergency Prep |State of Texas | State Link Policy | Statewide Search | Texas A&M University SitepoliciesTexas Homeland Security | Texas A&M University© 1995 - 2013 Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning
Literacy empowers people to better their lives, the lives of their families and our entire community. While illiteracy is a relatively unseen problem, it profoundly impacts our society. U.S. Department of Education statistics reveal that 60% of prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems. Illiteracy leads to low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty and crime. It is estimated that limited literacy skills cost business and taxpayers $20 billion in lost wages, profits and productivity annually.
Below are only some of the reasons why improving literacy is critical:
- Nationally, about 40% of fourth grade students are reading below grade level.
- Without basic reading skills, children fall farther and farther behind in their learning in all subjects, until many feel so unsuccessful that they eventually drop out.
- Early language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first three years of life and is closely linked to a child’s earliest experiences with books and stories.
- Illiteracy begins early in the primary grades. Kindergarten through third grade is a critical time in the development of a child’s lifelong literacy. During these years, children learn to read. From fourth grade on, children are reading to learn.
- At least half of all adults who are functionally illiterate live in poverty.
- Children whose parents can read are 5 to 6 times more likely to succeed in school.
- 80% of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. require some post-secondary education.
- A rise of one percent in a nation’s literacy scores yields a 2.5% increase in labor productivity and a 1.5% increase in GDP per person. These raw numbers mean a real improvement in quality of life.
- The health care industry estimates $73 billion per year of unnecessary health care expenses are attributable to poor literacy.