A new "study" of the literacy of 70 of the nation’s major cities — with “literacy” measured by such things as newspaper circulation, bookstores, libraries, Internet resources, and the educational attainments of its residents — ranks St. Louis 12th, just behind Boston, Portland, and San Francisco. The same study methodology ranked the City 15th in 2005. The relative improvement — and company of some other great cities is heartening (even if you share my general skepticism for all these national list things).
Once again this year, the City scored well because of its great public libraries, numbers of bookstores and local magazines/periodicals, and the fact that we read newspapers. Yet, our overall rating was dragged down by below-average rankings in Internet resources and — especially — by a low percentage of residents with college degrees.
It’s a couple of weeks early for New Year’s predictions, but I’m willing to offer this one: we’ll break the top 10 next year.