Printers Row Lit Fest & the Chicago Tribune are posting signs claiming 53% of Chicago adults have low literacy skills. I remember three years ago when the folks at Open Books Store sponsored a similar campaign claiming poor literacy affected 37% of the population. 53% vs. 37%? Where are these businesses getting the numbers?
I looked up the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. The official percentage rate for Cook County’s adult lower literacy population (and we’re talking about English language literacy only) resides around 19%. So there you have it. 53% and 37% and also 19% of us have trouble reading "a medication label."
I guess that leaves us free to choose whichever value best suits our mood.