Pew Report: Two in Five American Adults Did Not Read a Book in the Past Year

May 25, 2018

Reposted with permission from the Library Research Service (LRS)

Pew Research Center recently updated a report delving into the characteristics of the quarter of American adults who say that they haven’t read a book in the past year. This includes reading all or part of a book, in any format (print, electronic, or audiobook).

Education seems to impact how often American adults read books. About 2 in 5 (37%) adults with a high school degree or less reported that they did not read a book in the past year. This makes them about five times more likely to be a non-book reader than college graduates (7%). Similarly, only about 1 in 10 (13%) of the most affluent adults reported not reading books, while over a third (36%) of adults with an annual income of $30,000 or less said the same.

Age and ethnicity also correlated with non-book reading. Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) Hispanic adults reported not reading a book in the past twelve months, compared to 1 in 5 (20%) white adults. Older adults (over 50 years old) are somewhat more likely than their younger counterparts to be non-book readers (28% and 20%, respectively).

The traits that correlate to non-book reading match those of American adults who have never been to a library, as identified by a 2016 Pew Survey. In their responses to this survey, Hispanics, older adults, less affluent adults, and those who have a high school education or less were most likely to report that they had never visited a library.

The full post can be found here.

Note: This post is part of the LRS’s series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, they highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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