Literacy Rate Plummeting In US, Casts Political And Economic Effects

US is usually hailed as the country which hosts some of the best educational institutes. However, what many tend to ignore is the fact that US has a huge population of illiterate individuals. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has now divulged numbers which show how serious America’s educational problem is.


OECD conducted a survey on some 5000 adults aged between 16 and 65. The aim of the survey was to gauge what skills these individuals possessed. In contrast, the findings of the survey were compared to the results from 21 other countries.

When it comes to literacy proficiency, US stood 16 out of 21, which is a pretty bad position. These findings are consistent with the numbers released by U.S. Department of Education back in 2009 which cited that America has 32 million such individuals who can’t read a paper.

Such a huge population of virtually illiterate people is very alarming and has very real consequences for this nation. According to the OECD report, “Individuals who score at lower levels of proficiency in literacy are more likely than those with higher proficiency to … believe that they have little impact on the political process.”

In other words, one of the key reason for an eroding interest of the public in politics and governmental affairs is probably illiteracy. It is precisely this fundamental problem with the education of the individuals that has landed US where it is today – in the middle of a US government shut-down and stuck with a Republican opposition that comprises of some of the dumbest politicians.

Interestingly, despite having made some of the most ridiculously unintelligent statements in Senate, many Republican representatives continue to occupy their positions. This, too, can be explained by the fact that a largely uneducated population is incapable of understanding much about politics, so they tend to ignore such shenanigans by the Congress and Senate members.

In all, the huge number of illiterate individuals is pushing the US towards a political and economic abyss. The country needs to urgently reinvigorate its efforts in the education sector and ensure that the literacy rate is bumped within the next few years.

Source: OECD

Courtesy: CNN

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