I recently ran across this fascinating analysis of reading habits across the globe (as of 2021)! Compiled by Global English Editing, it is a stunner design-wise. So much information on one page! https://geediting.com/world-reading-habits-in-2021-infographic/
What we can immediately discern from the infographic is that literacy is a complex subject! There are so many factors to consider: time spent reading, preferences, publishing trends, gender and age, personal needs, catastrophic events and/or conditions, format, and selection tools! Literacy programming and education should never be considered a “one-size-fits-all” endeavor.
For example, 39% of Americans prefer print books, while 30% of Chinese adults and 34% of China’s minors listen to audiobooks. Print out sells e-books four to one these days! E-book sales are in fact declining. Format matters!
Also, 61% of humans, as of 2021, prefer fiction, the US loving romance novels best. Genre matters!
Americans aged 20-34 only spend 6.6 minutes a day reading. Europeans spend one hour a day reading; the Chinese read everyday – 36% of them. Time spent reading matters! (The highest literacy rate in the world is found in Southeast Asia and the Pacific – 95.77%).
In Korea, 12% of the adult population’s New Year’s goal was to achieve a higher degree of personal development by reading books. Reading is the 5th most popular activity in Africa, yet 58% of South Africans live in homes with no books present. Access and location matters!
100 million children worldwide are falling behind minimum proficiency reading levels following Covid. Living conditions matter!
On a positive note, here in America the books Midnight Library by Matt Haig and Matilda by Roald Dahl got us through the pandemic best. Fantasy sales were up 48.4% in 2021. Genre, once more, matters!
Two-thirds of the illiterate adults in the world are female. Attention to gender issues matters!
Generation Z uses social media to find books they will love reading, while the rest of us look to bestseller lists. Age matters!
As you can see from this casual, yet intriguing, recounting, increasing literacy levels and reading interest, worldwide, could be considered “rocket science.” It is going to take some concerted effort on behalf of international scholars, researchers, professionals, and geniuses to launch we humans into a world where all read at an exceptional level, on a equalitarian basis!