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Minneapolis 3rd most literate city; St. Paul slipping back into stone age

St. Paul: Lots of colleges, but declining literacy.
St. Paul: Lots of colleges, but declining literacy.

Instead of creating a new food and beverage tax to help fund a Vikings stadium, perhaps the Ramsey County Board should invest in libraries.

The annual Central Connecticut State University literacy study ranked Minneapolis as the third-most literate city in the country in 2011, behind only Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

St. Paul? Things are apparently going to hell in a handbasket on that side of the river, as for the first time since 2005 the capital city fell out of the top ten, all the way down to 12th overall.

CCSU determines the rankings based on six indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and internet resources.

The study found that there is little correlation between the wealth of a city and its literacy level. Dr. Jack Miller, author of the study, said that "if cities are truly committed to literacy, they can find a way past poverty and other socio-cultural challenges to create and sustain rich resources for reading." For example, not-rich cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis ranked in the top ten.

Minneapolis rated as the most literate city in 2007 and has been in the top three every year the study has been conducted. Meanwhile, if current trends continue, St. Paul residents will soon communicate via a system of grunts and shrieks.


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