53 % of LA Adults Are Functionally Illiterate

If you were told that more than half of the adult inhabitants of the 17th largest economy in the world couldn’t read, you would probably think it was a less developed country like Pakistan or Nigeria.

Well, think again. The place is in the good old US of A.: Los Angeles.

A new study by the United Way of Los Angeles finds that 53 percent of the city’s adult population—3.8 million people—are functionally illiterate. [United Way, Literacy@Work: The L.A. Workforce Literacy Project, September 2004.]

The percentage soars to 84 percent in heavily Hispanic south L.A., dropping to 44 percent in the greater San Fernando Valley.

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