Women and adults belonging to the 65-74 age bracket are the most active readers of literature in America, according to a new survey by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The study defines “reading literature” as having read in the past year at least one novel, play, short story, or poem that’s not required for work or school. The study is based on the results of the NEA’s Annual Arts Basic Survey (AABS). The agency conducts the survey in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.
The NEA revealed these results from the study:
Gender: In 2015, 49.8 percent of women read literature versus 35.9 percent of men.
Age: The most active readers according to age group were 65-74 years old (49.1 percent), 55-64 (44.2 percent), 25-34 (44 percent).
Education: In terms of education, the most active readers were those who finished graduate school (68.1 percent), those who earned a bachelor’s degree (58.9 percent), and those with some college education (46 percent).
Race: Fifty percent of whites read literature versus 28.7 percent of blacks, 26.7 percent of Hispanics, and 39.2 percent of all other ethnicity.
A Quartz magazine report of the NEA’s AABS results identified Vermont and Oregon as the most well-read states in the country. Sixty-three percent of adult residents in Vermont and 60 percent in Oregon read literature for pleasure.
The states with the lowest rates of readers of literature were Mississippi (22 percent), Florida (30 percent), and Nevada (30 percent).
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