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49 Reading Statistics & Facts You Should Know

Did you know reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by 68%?

Reading Statistics You Should Know

Reading is an essential part of our lives. It helps us learn, grow, and expand our knowledge. But how much do we really know about reading? In this article, we'll explore 33 reading statistics that will give you a better understanding of the importance of reading.

  1. In a 2009 study from the consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, testing found that reading reduced stress levels by 68%.
  2. 27% of American adults didn't read a book at all in 2018.
  3. Kids that read at least 20 minutes each day will get exposure to around 2 million words each year.
  4. 1 out of 5 kids in the U.K. can't read at their school level by the time they reach 11 years of age.
  5. Reading can boost emotional development and career prospects by 50% to 100%.
  6. Tthe average amount of audiobooks published every year has increased over the last 10 years, up to 74,000 titles in 2021.
  7. Reading fictional books are shown to increase better decision-making in people by 50% to 100%.
Category Data
Average Reading Speed 250-300 words per minute
Average Reading Comprehension 50-70%
Average Number of Words Read in One Sitting 1000-2000 words
Average Time to Read One Page 2 minutes
Average Time to Read One Book 10-15 hours

How Many Books Do People Read Per Year?

  1. 65% of Americans have read a printed book in the past year.
  2. 28% of Americans have not read a book in the past year.
  3. The average American reads 12 books per year.
  4. 80% of American adults say they have read a book in the past year.
  5. 42% of college graduates read books for personal growth and development.
  6. 70% of adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years.
  7. 27% of adults have not read a book in the past year.

U.S. Book Industry Statistics & Sales

  1. Print book sales figures have improved and unit sales now consistently surpass 700 million per year.
  2. Print also remains the most popular book format among U.S. consumers, with 65% of adults having read a print book in the last 12 months.
  3. The global book market was worth $143 billion in 2020.
  4. The e-book market is expected to reach $26 billion by 2025.
  5. The audiobook market is expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2025.
  6. Amazon is the largest seller of books in the world.

Children and Reading Proficiency

Reading is an essential skill that every child should develop. It not only helps them to acquire knowledge but also improves their cognitive abilities.

However, in today's digital age, children are more inclined towards electronic gadgets, which has led to a decline in reading habits. Here are some statistics that shed light on the current state of children and reading:

  1. According to a report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 37% of fourth-graders and 34% of eighth-graders in the United States are proficient in reading.
  2. A survey conducted by Scholastic revealed that only 51% of children between the ages of 6-17 read for fun, and the percentage drops as they grow older.
  3. Children who are read to for 20 minutes a day are exposed to 1.8 million words per year.
  4. 61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes.
  5. Children who read for pleasure have higher academic achievement.
  6. Children who read for pleasure have better mental health.
  7. The same survey also found that children who read for fun frequently are more likely to have higher reading scores and perform better in school.
  8. A study by Common Sense Media found that children between the ages of 8-12 spend an average of 4 hours and 36 minutes on screen media every day, which includes TV, video games, and mobile devices.
  9. The same study also found that only 29% of children in this age group read books for fun every day.
  10. A report by the National Literacy Trust found that children who have access to books at home are more likely to be proficient readers and perform better in school.
  11. The same report also found that children who read for pleasure are more likely to have better mental health and well-being.

These statistics highlight the importance of encouraging children to read and providing them with access to books. Parents and educators should make a conscious effort to promote reading habits among children and provide them with a variety of books to choose from. Reading not only helps children to develop their language and communication skills but also fosters creativity and imagination.

Reading and Technology

The rise of technology has had a significant impact on the reading habits of children. Here are some statistics that shed light on this phenomenon:

  1. According to a report by Common Sense Media, 42% of children between the ages of 0-8 have their own tablet device.
  2. A study by Scholastic found that 80% of children between the ages of 6-17 who read e-books still read books for fun, and 62% said they preferred print books over e-books.
  3. The same study also found that children who have access to e-books are more likely to read frequently and enjoy reading than those who don't.
  4. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that teenagers spend an average of nine hours a day using electronic devices, which can interfere with their sleep and lead to cognitive and emotional problems.
  5. However, a study by Pew Research Center found that young adults who read e-books are more likely to read more books overall than those who only read print books.
  6. Studies show that 50% of Americans own a tablet or e-reader.
  7. New research shows that 28% of Americans have read an e-book in the past year.
  8. 14% of Americans have listened to an audiobook in the past year.
  9. 27% of Americans read books on their smartphones.

These statistics suggest that while technology can be both a boon and bane for reading habits among children, it is crucial to strike a balance between digital media consumption and reading for pleasure in order to ensure healthy cognitive development and well-being.

Average Reading Level In The U.S.

  1. The average reading level of American adults is eighth grade.
  2. 21% of Americans read below a fifth-grade level.
  3. 44% of American adults do not read at or above a basic level.
  4. The United States ranks 17th in the world in reading proficiency.
  5. Children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school.

In addition to the statistics mentioned earlier, it's also essential to consider the average reading level in different countries.

According to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States has an average reading proficiency of 270 points, which is slightly higher than the OECD average of 267 points.

However, other countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Canada have significantly higher average reading proficiency levels than the United States.

The same study also found that there is a significant gap in reading proficiency between students from low-income families and those from high-income families in most countries.

Students from low-income backgrounds tend to have lower reading proficiency levels than their peers from high-income families.

It's important to note that these statistics only provide a snapshot of the current state of reading proficiency across different countries.

There are many factors that contribute to a child's reading ability, including access to books, quality of education, and socio-economic background.

Nonetheless, these statistics serve as a reminder that promoting literacy and providing equal access to education should be a top priority for governments worldwide.

Reading and the Brain

In addition to the statistics previously mentioned, research has shown that reading can have a positive impact on the brain. Here are some statistics that shed light on this phenomenon:

  1. A study published in the journal Brain Connectivity found that reading fiction can increase connectivity in the brain and improve empathy and understanding of others.
  2. According to a study by researchers at Emory University, reading can lead to changes in the brain that last for days after finishing a book.
  3. The same study also found that reading can improve cognitive function and reduce stress levels.
  4. A report by the National Endowment for the Arts found that people who read for pleasure are more likely to have higher levels of civic engagement and social participation.
  5. A study by Rush University Medical Center found that engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as reading can help prevent or delay cognitive decline in older adults.

These statistics highlight the importance of promoting reading not just as a means of acquiring knowledge but also as a way to improve overall well-being and cognitive function.

20 Fun Facts about Reading

  1. The longest sentence ever written was in the book Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, and it contained 823 words.
  2. The oldest known book is the Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist text printed in China in AD 868.
  3. The most expensive book ever sold was Leonardo da Vinci's notebook, which sold for $30.8 million.
  4. The average person reads about 200 to 400 words per minute.
  5. Speed reading courses can help you read up to 1,000 words per minute!
  6. The world record for reading is held by Howard Berg, who read 25,000 words in one minute with a comprehension rate of over 75%.
  7. According to a study, reading literary fiction can increase empathy and social skills more than reading non-fiction or not reading at all.
  8. In Iceland, there is a tradition called Jólabókaflóðið, or "Yule Book Flood," where books are exchanged as Christmas Eve presents and people spend the night reading them.
  9. The word "bookworm" originally referred to insects that would eat through the bindings of books.
  10. There is a library in Sweden that collects rejection letters given to famous authors like J.K Rowling and Dr.Seuss.
  11. A group of owls is called a parliament because they were once considered wise creatures associated with knowledge and learning.
  12. Mark Twain once said: "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."
  13. Studies have shown that just looking at pictures of nature while reading can help reduce stress levels.
  14. Author Stephen King has said that he reads around 80-90 books per year!
  15. The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer in 1876.
  16. In ancient Egypt, only scribes were taught how to read and write hieroglyphics - it was considered an elite skill.
  17. It is estimated that there are over 130 million books in existence worldwide today!
  18. Reading aloud to your pets can actually help improve your own public speaking skills - they make great listeners!
  19. Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations was originally titled Magwitch before being changed by his publisher before publication
  20. Libraries outnumber McDonald's restaurants in America!

In conclusion, reading is an essential part of our lives that offers numerous benefits. Whether you prefer printed books, e-books, or audiobooks, there is no denying the power of reading. So, pick up a book and start reading today!



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