Seattle has been named America’s most literate city, according to findings from an annual survey conducted by Central Connecticut State University that were published in USA Today. Involving the 69 cities in America with populations of over 250,000, the survey considered such factors as newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, education figures, and — new to this year’s survey — Internet resources. According to Mary Beth Marklein of USA Today, the survey “aims to rate cities not on whether or not their citizens can read, but whether they actually do.”
John Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, claims that the survey’s value “lies less in … rank orders and far more in what communities do with the information.” El Paso, Texas, the city that came in dead last in last year’s survey, launched a city-wide literacy campaign following the release of last year’s results. However, despite new initiatives that included “Read El Paso Read,” a program that helped to distribute 95,000 books, the city’s rank improved only slightly for this year’s survey — to second-last place after Stockton, California.