Facts and Statistics

Literacy Estimates - State and County Level

The National Institute for Literacy distributed the publication entitled "The State of Literacy in America" in 1998. This publication includes a compilation of literacy proficiency estimates at the national, state, congressional district and county levels. Dr. Stephen Reder, the Portland State University researcher hired by the U. S. Department of Education to conduct the study, calculated the estimates of adult literacy proficiency by analyzing previous national literacy studies (National Adult Literacy Survey) and comparing the primary indicators for literacy found in those earlier studies to local statistics provided by the Census Bureau.

Literacy skills were measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with Level 5 reflecting the highest skills and Level 1, the lowest. Generally, those adults who score at Level 1 have difficulty performing such everyday tasks as locating an intersection on a street map, reading and comprehending a short newspaper article, or calculating total costs on an order form. "The State of Literacy in America" provides statistics on only those who scored at Level 1.


West Virginia Statistics - State Level

 West Virginia ranked 33rd, tied with 3 other states, on the lowest percentage of adults at Level 1 literacy. The report estimates that 20% of West Virginia adults function at Level 1, compared to the national average of 22%. Level 1 literacy rates for all 50 states ranged from 11% (Alaska, Utah and Wyoming) to 37% (District of Columbia). Fourteen states showed a higher percentage of adults at Level 1 compared to West Virginia.


West Virginia Statistics - Congressional Districts

District 1 18% at Level 1

District 2 19% at Level 1

District 3 24% at Level 1

West Virginia Statistics - County Level


County Percentage of Adult Population at Level 1 Literacy

Barbour 23% Brooke 17%
Berkeley 16% Cabell 19%
Boone 26% Calhoun 24%
Braxton 24% Clay 29%

County Percentage of Adult Population at Level 1 Literacy

Doddridge 21% Mineral 16%
Fayette 27% Mingo 29%
Gilmer 23% Monongalia 14%
Grant 19% Monroe 22%
Greenbrier 22% Morgan 18%
Hampshire 19% Nicholas 23%
Hancock 19% Ohio 17%
Hardy 19% Pendleton 19%
Harrison 19% Pleasants 19%
Jackson 18% Pocahontas 21%
Jefferson 15% Preston 19%
Kanawha 20% Putnam 14%
Lewis 21% Raleigh 26%
Lincoln 27% Randolph 20%
Logan 27% Ritchie 21%
Marion 19% Roane 23%
Marshall 18% Summers 30%
Mason 22% Taylor 20%
McDowell 37% Tucker 20%
Mercer 23% Tyler 19%

County Percentage of Adult Population at Level 1 Literacy

Upshur 19% Wetzel 18%
Wayne 21% Wood 15%
Webster 29% Wyoming 27%

 

 
 

West Virginia Department of Education
Building 6, Room 230
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 26501
Phone: (304) 558-0280
Fax: (304) 558-3946
 
ABE Hotline: 1-800-642-2670