State literacy rate improves by 6 percent

Published 7:42 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A new report shows that Alabama literacy rates improved from 1992 to 2003 but some counties are still double the national average illiteracy rate of 14.5 percent.

The study by the National Center for Education Statistics was released Thursday and showed 15 percent of Alabamians lacked basic literacy skills in 2003, an improvement from 21 percent in 1992.

The study didn’t issue rankings, but 12 states had illiteracy rates that were higher than Alabama’s while 36 and the District of Columbia had lower illiteracy rates. South Carolina matched Alabama’s rate of 15 percent.

Shelby County had the lowest rate of illiteracy with seven percent while Bullock County was the highest at 34 percent.