November 30, 2015

America’s Most Literate Cities 2013, Annual Ranking From Central Connecticut State University Now Available

This is the 11th annual ranking/report.

From the America’s Most Literate Cities/Central Connecticut State University Web Site:

Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States.

This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: number of bookstores, educational attainment, Internet resources, library resources, periodical publishing resources, and newspaper circulation.

Dr. John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, is the author of this study.

Research for this edition of AMLC was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Public Policy & Social Research at CCSU.

For this edition of the study, Dr. Miller offers a regional outlook, and he finds clear, major regional differences in reading habits and resources for reading. Nearly 90 percent of the cities representing New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, for example, are above the median for all cities studied, and 55 percent of that region’s cities are in the top quartile, making that region the national leader for literate behaviors. By contrast, in the Southwest region (Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico), 86 percent of the cities are below the median of all the cities ranked, and none of the region’s cities make it into the top quartile, making it the lowest ranking region for literate behavior.

Miller also notes a revealing historical trend: the oldest cities in the Northeast (Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, for example) have some of the highest literacy practice levels. But moving from Northeast to the Southwest, there are fewer and fewer highly ranked cities. This suggests to Miller that “it may take a very long history to develop a culture of literate practice”—to develop, in other words, the vital tradition of reading that generates both readers and resources for reading.

Top 10 Overall

Washington, DC 1
Seattle, WA 2
Minneapolis, MN 3
Atlanta, GA 4.5
Pittsburgh, PA 4.5
Denver, CO 6
St. Paul, MN 7
Boston, MA 8
St. Louis, MO 9
San Francisco, CA 10

Top 10 (Library Category)

Cleveland, OH 1
Pittsburgh, PA 2
St. Louis, MO 3
Fort Wayne, IN 4
Kansas City, MO 5
Seattle, WA 6
Cincinnati, OH 7
Denver, CO 8
Tulsa, OK 9
Toledo, OH 10

Direct to ALL Category Rankings
Categories include Booksellers, Internet, Library, Magazine, and Newspaper

Direct to Overall Rankings

Direct to Methodology

Direct to Past Rankings

Direct to Regional Differences 

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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