The National Assessment of Adult Literacy just released the results of its latest report on nationwide literacy--the last was in 1992--and the news is good, for Mississippians, at least. While the county hasn’t made a lot of improvement, Mississippi actually has. In the 1992 report, Mississippi’s percentage of adults with low literacy skills was 25%; in the updated report, we’ve moved to 16%.
We get questions about the “illiteracy rate” of certain counties often, and what I like about the National Assessment of Adult Literacy is their emphasis on literacy, not illiteracy. The percentages reported are of those adults who lack the basic prose literacy skills (BPLS). According to the NAAL website: “The literacy of adults who lack BPLS ranges from being unable to read and understand any written information in English to being able to locate easily identifiable information in short, commonplace prose text, but nothing more advanced.”
You can click here to check out county estimates as well.