NEA Survey: More Women and Older Americans Read Literature for Pleasure

Photo credit: Researching Media via / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Researching Media via / CC BY-NC-SA

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.

Quartz Report

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).

Read a summary of the results of the NEA survey.

Read the Quartz Article:

Which U.S. States are the Most Well-Read?

Photo above: Researching Media via / CC BY-NC-SA

Read related stories:

Pew Study: Most Readers Prefer Print over Digital Books

Pew Research: Young Americans and Women Read More

Pew Research: Majority of Millenials Read Books

Pew Research: Majority of Americans Value Public Libraries

Want to Live Longer? Reading a Book Will Help


(Photo by Cindy Fazzi, September 2016)


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: