A new report estimates that illiteracy costs the U.S. approximately $300.8 billion per year.
According to the “Economic Cost and Social Impact of Illiteracy” report, 21% of people in the U.S. have low level literacy skills.
Andrew Kay, co-author of the report and CEO of the World Literacy Foundation, says that reduced income earning capacity and social costs are to blame for the financial impact of illiteracy.
“As a community of literacy experts, we face significant challenges as the early data shows a drop in literacy rates post-pandemic,” Mr. Kay said.
“Literacy can change everything in the life of a young person and provide a pathway to reach their full potential.”
On April 3, Mr. Kay will address the issue of illiteracy and its financial impact at the World Literacy Summit in the UK.
Also at the summit, Language Magazine editor Daniel Ward will moderate a panel discussion on the financial impact of illiteracy as well as possible solutions to the problem.
Tony Cree, chair of the World Literacy Council, says that the Literacy Summit will play a “central role” in addressing the spike in illiteracy.
“The 3-day meeting will put a spotlight on people and organizations doing exemplary and innovative work in the literacy sector around the world,” Cree said.
“We know the past 24 months have highlighted the need for communities to unite for literacy.”
The World Literacy Summit, held April 2-4, will host approximately 500 literary specialists from 85 different countries. An additional 48,000 people from the developing world will attend virtually.
For more information, visit www.worldliteracysummit.org.