The National Center for Education Statistics recently released the National Assessment of Adult Literacy with state and county-level indirect estimates of the percentage of adults who lack basic prose literacy skills for 1992 and 2003. According to the estimates, seven percent of adults in Missouri lacked basic prose literacy skills in 2003, compared to 13 percent in 1992. The U.S. average was 14.5 percent in 2003.
The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) is a national assessment of English literacy among American adults age 16 and older. Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NAAL is the nation's most comprehensive measure of adult literacy since the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). NAAL also provides information on adult literacy performance and related background characteristics to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the general public.
In 2003, over 19,000 adults participated in the national and state-level assessments, representing the entire population of U.S. adults who are age 16 and older, most in their homes and some in prisons from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately 1,200 inmates of federal and state prisons were assessed in order to provide separate estimates of literacy for the incarcerated population.
New Hampshire (6%), North Dakota (6%) and Minnesota (6%) had the lowest percentagte of adults lacking basic prose literacy in the nation in 2003, while California (23%) and New York (22%) had the highest numbers lacking basic prose literacy.
Some of the Counties in Missouri with the lowest percentagte of adults lacking basic prose literacy rates in Missouri for 2003 included St. Charles (4%), Platte (5%), Clay (5%), and Greene (5%).
To compare data for all states and counties for 1992 and 2003, click here.
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey