Literacy matters … and we’re still not doing enough to improve it

Image by Elke Wetzig under Creative Commons License, via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Elke Wetzig under Creative Commons License, via Wikimedia Commons

By James Carson

Three new reports published in September have highlighted the significance of literacy in our lives.

The first report, from the National Literacy Trust (NLT), discusses how low levels of literacy can contribute to health inequalities, poverty and crime. Among the findings, the NLT notes that:

  • Those with lower levels of literacy are more likely to be obese, smoke, and drink heavily;
  • Those with low literacy are more likely to live in disadvantaged housing conditions and more deprived areas;
  • Young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) are 20 times more likely to commit a criminal offence.

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