This study attempts to capture one critical index of our nation’s social health—the literacy of its major cities (population of 250,000 and above). This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: number of bookstores, educational attainment, Internet resources, library resources, periodical publishing resources,and newspaper circulation.
This set of factors measures people's use of their literacy and thus presents a large-scale portrait of our nation’s cultural vitality. From this data we can better perceive the extent and quality of the long-term literacy essential to individual economic success, civic participation, and the quality of life in a community and a nation.
As I've mentioned before, the ranking is necessarily an interpretation of data. What matters most is not whether the rank ordering changes but what communities do to promote the kinds of literacy practices that the data track.
Dr. Jack Miller,
Central Connecticut State University