Note: The Branch County Literacy Council is not part of the Branch District Library. They are a separate entity which maintains an office in the Coldwater Branch library building.

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Facts about literacy

Literacy is the ability to read, write, compute, and use technology at a level that enables a person to reach his or her full potential as a parent, employee and a member of our community.

There are 774 million adults around the world who are illiterate in their native languages.

Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women.

In the U.S., 30 million people over the age of 16 --14% of the country’s adults population-- don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper article written at an eighth level or even fill out a job application.

The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy when compared to the other industrialized countries.

Low literacy in adults can be connected to almost every socioeconomic issue in the United States:

More than 60 % of all state and federal inmates can barely read and write.

Low health literacy costs the United States between $106 -$238 BILLION each
year-- 7-17% of all annual personal health care spending.

Low literacy’s effects cost the United States $225 billion each year in loss productivity in the work force. This also results in crime and loss of tax revenue
because of unemployment.

Globally, illiteracy can be linked to:

Gender abuse, including female infanticide.
Extreme poverty.
High infant mortality, the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other preventable infectious diseases.

To help with these problems: call Branch County Literacy at 517-279-9833.