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Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Adults Reading Literature1

(12-month period ending Aug. 2002)

Demographic
characteristics
Percent
reading
literature
Number
reading
literature
(in millions)
Overall population46.7%96
Gender
Female55.159
Male37.637
Ethnicity and race
Hispanic26.56
White51.477
African American37.19
Other43.74
Age
18 to 2442.811
25 to 3447.718
35 to 4446.621
45 to 5451.620
55 to 6448.913
65 to 7445.38
75 or older36.76
Education
Grade school14.0%2
Some high school23.45
High school graduate37.724
Some college52.930
College graduate63.123
Graduate school74.313
Family income
$9,999 or less32.15
$10,000 to $19,99937.58
$20,000 to $29,99937.59
$30,000 to $39,99944.111
$40,000 to $49,99947.98
$50,000 to $74,99952.318
$75,000 or more60.828
Income not reported39.89
1. “Literature” includes novels, short stories, plays, and poetry but not works of nonfiction.
Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, June 2004.

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Family Reading, 1993–2001 Trends in Reading and Publishing U.S. Adult Participation in Literary Activities