The Brief History of Literacy in America with Infographic

Understanding the history of literacy in America helps to understand why scientists and neurologists started to study “reading blindness” and understanding it more.  As you can see from the infographic they start to explore dyslexia not long after they start collecting reading habits.

The Brief History of Literacy in America

The ability to read a simple sentence suffices as literacy in many nations, and was the previous standard for the U.S. The country’s current definition of literacy is the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.

3500 BC – First written communication is around.

23 BC – The first books appear.

1430s – Invention of the printing press and the ability of written communication to be more widely distributed.

1840’s – American colonies have a higher literacy rate than Europe. In the 1800’s the public school system was created.

1920’s – By the 1920’s some parts of the US have a literacy rate of 70%.

1940’s – Data Collection by the 1940’s we started tracking reading habits.

Today – 2020 46% Literacy Rate. 54% of US adults 16-74 years old about 130,000,000 people lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.  6th Grade Literacy Sample Test


History has much to teach us and make sure you check out the History of Dyslexia in America.

Enjoy the journey and get to know your brain.

JoyGenea Schumer
Business Owner, International Neurodiversity Coach and Speaker

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