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The Leading Causes of Poor Literacy in the United States

Last updated 7 years ago

The U.S Department of Education estimates that 24 million Americans are functionally illiterate and only 5 percent of 17 year-olds can read well enough to understand materials found in essays, historical documents, and technical instructions.

It might surprise you that so many people in the U.S struggle with simple tasks such as reading and writing, but unfortunately, illiteracy is a reality in our country. Here are some of the leading causes of poor literacy in the U.S:

Social Factors

Rates of illiteracy are significantly higher in impoverished neighborhoods than in well-off suburbs. Growing up in poverty generally leads students to disregard their education, which is seen in the low high school completion rates that correlate with poorer communities.

Poor School Systems

Around the country, many school systems do not teach children how to read and write properly. If children are not introduced to the structure and importance of these basic skills from an early age, then they can be severely crippled in the future when it comes to high school, college, and their career.

Unstable Home Life

If a child is a victim of an unstable home, then his or her education is almost always affected. Students with stable and supportive families are shown to do significantly better in school throughout the course of their education. So, help your children realize the importance of education and literacy by being more involved in their schooling and social life.


If you want your children to succeed in school, social settings, and their future careers, then visit us at The Literacy and Language Center in San Francisco. Our individualized methods will help your child reach his or her full potential and grasp a thorough understanding of reading and writing. For more information about how we can help further your child’s education, visit our website today!


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