Uniting the community to
support literacy for all, through advocacy, partnerships, and resources.
The San Diego Council on literacy is committed to fostering a culture and environment of inclusivity and equity. Click here to read our full statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Literacy Statistics You Should Know
- 20% of adults in the U.S read at the lowest level of literacy, between a 0-4th grade reading level. Most of these adults, approximately 70%, are native English speakers.
- 600,000 adults (20-23%) in the San Diego region read between a 0-4th grade level.
- Adult literacy rates in National City, Chula Vista, and Imperial Beach rank lowest among San Diego County cities.
- Encinitas has the highest adult literacy rate among the 18 cities in the region.
- Adult literacy rates in Southeastern San Diego and San Ysidro rank lowest among San Diego County communities.
- Percentage of residents, ages 0-5, who speak a language other than English at home: U.S. 21.5%; California 43.0%; San Diego County 37.0%; San Diego City 39.5%; Los Angeles County 56.1%; Los Angeles City 58.3%; National City 67.9%; Imperial County 75.1%.
Source: U.S. Census 2020
- Nationally, 37% of 4th graders read at the Below Basic level.
- In California, 43% of 4th graders read at the Below Basic level.
- In San Diego County, 34% of 4th graders read at the Below Basic level.
- In this age group, California ranks 32nd; Massachusetts ranks 1st; New Mexico ranks 50th.
Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2022
- 53% of California students, grades 3-11, did not meet the reading standard.
- 47% of San Diego County students, grades 3-11, did not meet the reading standard.
- In San Diego County, 3rd graders attending school in South Bay Union School District, Escondido Union Elementary School District, Cajon Union Valley School District and National Elementary School District posted the highest percentage of local students who did NOT meet the standard for reading & writing.
- In San Diego County, 3rd graders attending school in Solana Beach Elementary School District and Del Mar Union Elementary School District ranked highest in language arts scores.
Source: California Assessment of Student Progress & Performance, 2022
16,500 Book Giveaway!
Resources, to support services
Research/Data, to define the state of literacy in the region
Advocacy/Awareness, to instill the importance of literacy in the community and inspire action
Collaborations/Initiatives, to fill service gaps
Photo by Luis Jimenez
Our Newsletter: Voice of Literacy
Voice of Literacy is the newsletter developed and distributed by the San Diego Council on Literacy. The newsletter contains information about literacy programs in San Diego County, literacy issues, literacy events around the county, and inspiring personal stories from literacy students and others.