Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Most Literate Cities in 2010

by Deb Baker (aka Hannah Reed)

Last week, 2010's winners were announced and I just have to share and get your opinion.

Top 10 Cities RANK
Washington, DC 1
Seattle, WA 2
Minneapolis, MN 3
Atlanta, GA 4
Pittsburgh, PA 5
San Francisco, CA 6
St. Paul, MN 7
Denver, CO 8
Portland, OR 9.5
St. Louis, MO 9.5

The indicators used (in case you care) were based on newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources. 

Would you add any cities to the list? I always thought Texas was a big reading state. Houston, maybe? Austin? 

And check out Minnesota - the twin cities took two top tens! I haven't been there, but its on my radar now.


Kaye George said...

Listing Minneapolis and St. Paul separately gives that area a double whammy. The only ones here I've ever lived anywhere near. Thanks for the listing.

Min said...

I don't mean to sound like a snob when I say this, but I just want to give my comment some context: I have a Master's degree in Public Health, and I concentrated in epidemiology, which means that I know a fair amount about research, sampling, survey bias, etc.

The fact that they used "number of bookstores" doesn't really mean much unless we know how much business those bookstores do. How many of them are new or have been in stable business for awhile (meaning that they have a solid customer base)? When they calculated "educational attainment," is that number of people who acquired their degrees in that area (and then potentially moved away), or the number of people currently in that area who have those degrees? Also, in calculating "library resources," were academic library resources counted? If so, some of those cities certainly had an advantage.

It's kind of like when Men's Health releases the Ten Fattest Cities, but they use metrics like number of gyms, number of fast food restaurants, etc. Again, those metrics don't really tell you much.

Kaye said...

I'm surprised Boston is not on the list.

Deb Baker said...

Min, I should have added a link to the study

Not sure that gives him more credentials.

Boston, yes!

Sheila Connolly said...

Yeah, what happened to Boston? All those universities, and plenty of bookstores? Bah, humbug!

And what the heck is "educational attainment"?

Laineshots said...

I think Washington DC should've been disqualified, since most of the reading done there is probably done by politicians checking out their publicity in the newspapers. :) two hometowns tied for 10th place. Coincidence? I think not.

Prairiedog said...

I live in Minnesota, and here in the frozen tundra reading is a pastime for many in the winter. Can't be out gardening, or even walking. Minneapolis and St. Paul are next to each other, but they are very distinct cities. Hey, come on over to Minnesota, we're nice friendly people here, and book lovers. Karen

signlady217 said...

My husband is originally from Bloomington, MN, which is a suburb of Minneapolis and he still has quite a bit of family in the area. We get up there about once a year (in the summer, not winter!) for a visit. I have heard good things about some of the school systems in the surrounding towns (e.g., Savage, Burnsville, etc.), so it sounds like they're doing something right! :)

Jan said...

Washington DC may have a bit of an advantage in library resources, considering the Library of Congress!

ev said...

And NY, anywhere in NY including the city, is no where on that list.


Mo said...

So all the books bought over the internet (both paper and ebooks) don't count? I agree with Min that these statistics aren't really meaningful.

holdenj said...

Please, stop by MN anytime! For as high as we rank, it doesn't seem like we get the abundance of author visits that I read about in other places!

Vickie said...

It is a little hinky on the way the list was formed up, but YAY Denver!! I live in a burb between Denver and Boulder and I definitely hold my end of the book reading and does my 7 year old daughter. That apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Tiffany0227 said...

I have to agree with the Washington D.C. comments, it really isn't fair considering their advantage. If only more people were like MN people who would spend their time reading and engaging in educational activities during those months when the weather prohibits being outdoors. Instead we shove a computer on them like they are really going to use if for something other than social networking. Don't get me wrong social networking is awesome but is it really all our young generation has to do.

I just asked this question on Facebook the other day. As I read through and see what my fellow FB friends are up to I can't help but notice all the grammatical errors and mispelled words. It drives me crazy; I want to have FB English lesson. Would that be rude? I am not trying to be but seriously I want my fellow FB friends and everyone elese to know the difference in there, they're and their. One of the most commone errors known to people. I find it very constructive when someone points out that I have errors in my writing.

Why do people get so offended when you try to help them?