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August 21, 2014

America’s most literate cities list: No. 3 Minneapolis, No. 6 St. Paul

Minneapolis is No. 3 on a new ranking of America’s “most literate cities,” behind Washington, D.C. and Seattle. St. Paul is No. 6.

The study, released Thursday, was conducted by Central Connecticut State University president John Miller and is based on six factors: booksellers, educational attainment, Internet resources, library resources, newspaper circulation, and periodical publishing resources.

Minneapolis has been stuck at No. 3 behind the same two cities for the last four years, after a No. 1 ranking in 2008.

Miller says the study is designed to move attention away from school test scores and put it more on “how much people are reading, and where are they reading the most,” USA Today reports.

There’s troubling news in the data, Miller says in a press release: “Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that Americans continue to move away from traditional reading materials—further away, perhaps, from what we have understood to be the basic literate behavior of sustained, engaged reading.”

The release notes that among the 75 cities examined in the study, average weekday newspaper circulation has declined more than 37 percent since 2003, and library use (as measured in volumes and circulation per capita) has remained flat.

The nation’s capital claimed the top spot for the third year in a row. The top 10:

1. Washington, DC
2. Seattle
3. Minneapolis
4. Pittsburgh
5. Denver
6. St. Paul
7. Boston
8. Atlanta
9. St. Louis
10. Portland