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Low adult literacy impacts all areas of life. It is a primary contributor to community problems, ranging from lost income and tax revenue, increased numbers on welfare, higher rates of unemployment and crime, rising healthcare costs and financial instability due to increased training costs for business and industry.
Literacy instruction provides an opportunity to reverse this negative impact in our community. Join the Coalition to provide opportunity for all members of our community. Download a summary of facts and statistics to share with your friends, family, and co-workers.
Approximately one in five adults in Tarrant County (more than 200,000) cannot read well enough to succeed at a fourth grade level. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy Survey) However, less than 10,000 adults in Tarrant County are enrolled in ANY kind of adult literacy program at the present time.
In a study of literacy indicators of 69 metro areas with populations over 250,000, Fort Worth ranked 45th and Arlington ranked 63rd. (Central Connecticut State University)
Nearly half of adults in the study read at a "Basic" or "Below Basic" level. At most, they can perform simple and everyday literacy tasks. (United Way of Tarrant County)
Literacy programs serve only 3.6% of the 3.8 million adults in Texas who need adult basic education services. (Texas LEARNS)
Texas ranks 47 out of 50 states, in terms of English literacy levels. (U.S. Department of Education)
In 2008, Texas ranked 3rd in the nation among all states for the number of adults who took the GED® test - 53,000 adults - an indication of the number of adults residing in Texas who do not have a high school diploma. (American Council on Education). However, in Tarrant and Parker counties, less than 5% of all adults who lack a high school diploma or GED® actually take the exam each year. (American Council on Education)
High school dropouts cost Texas $9.6 billion. (United Ways of Texas)
Texas ranked 3rd in the nation for the most Spanish GED® testers. In 2008, 3,558 adults took the Spanish-language GED® test in Texas (American Council on Education).
The U.S. ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations (ProLiteracy).
Over 17 million people have earned a GED® credential since 1943 (American Council on Education).
In the U.S., 14% of the adult population, or 30 million people, cannot read well enough to fill out a job description or understand a newspaper story written at an eight grade level (ProLiteracy).
In 2006, more than 90,000 people nationwide in need of ESL/ESOL classes were unable to enroll because a lack of classes (Literacy Powerline).
More than 60% of all state and federal corrections inmates are considered "functionally illiterate". (ProLiteracy).
Low literacy's effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year through non-productivity in the workforce, increased crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment (ProLiteracy).
It is estimated that a rise of 1% in literacy scores leads to a 2.5% rise in labor productivity and a 1.5% rise in the country's Gross Domestic Productivity (The Economist).
Annual healthcare costs in the U.S. are six times higher for individuals who are considerd to have low literacy skills than for individuals with high level literacy skills (ProLiteracy).
A 2006 study by the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education noted that 78% of ESL/ESOL programs had waiting lists (Literacy Powerline).