October 22, 2019

Half of Young Children in the U.S. are Read to at Least Once a Day, Census Bureau Reports

Half of Young Children in the U.S. are Read to at Least Once a Day, Census Bureau Reports

Many young children are getting a head start on acquiring the skills needed to read, as family members take time out of their day on a regular basis to read aloud with them, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. In 2009, half of children age 1 to 5 were read to seven or more times a week by a family member.

A series of tables, Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being (A Child’s Day): 2009, uses statistics from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to provide a glimpse into how children younger than 18 spend their day, touching on subjects such as the degree of interaction with parents and extracurricular activities. These statistics are compared with those from earlier years.

While reading interactions are more frequent among families above poverty, reading interactions among low-income families have increased over the last 10 years. In 2009, 56 percent of 1- and 2-year-olds above poverty were read to seven or more times a week, compared with 45 percent below the poverty level. However, while parental reading involvement for children above poverty was not different from rates in 1998, it rose from 37 percent for those below poverty.

+ A Child’s Day: 2009 (tables)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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