Minneapolis is literally the most literate city in the United States


Minneapolitans know their Shakespeares from their Steinbecks, as their city has been ranked the "most literate city" in the United States.

Minneapolis has dislodged Washington D.C. from the top spot in the annual survey by Central Connecticut State University, with St. Paul coming in 4th place.

USA Today reports that the survey measures "use of literacy" in individual cities, by studying the number of local bookstores, educational levels, Internet and library resources, and newspaper circulation.

Washington had held the top ranking for the last four years, but Minneapolis usurped it at the top after finishing third last year.

Meanwhile, St. Paul broke into the top five after spending the last few years in the lower rungs of the top 10.

USA Today notes that the top cities don't change much from year to year – Minneapolis, Washington and Seattle have never ranked outside the top five in the 12 years of the study.

But what makes Minneapolis and St. Paul more literate cities than others?

One of the main trends found in the study is prosperity. Last year, study head Dr. John Miller told Time magazine that highly-literate cities tend to have higher average incomes and better business development than others – and this results in better retention of a well-educated workforce.

And while reading test scores aren't taken into account, Miller told Time that education still plays a role in the results, with the top ranking cities tending to have a high level of people with at least a bachelor's degree.

"This isn't about whether or not people can read, it's about whether they do read," he said.

Minneapolis's literary pedigree makes it the fitting location for the largest writing conference of its kind in the country, run by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. It is currently ongoing at the Minneapolis Convention Center and ends Saturday.

Next Up


Minneapolis crowned most stress-free city in America

If they rest of the country thinks it's cold here, maybe that's just because we're chillin'. Sperling's Best Places considered divorce rates, commute times, and the number of overcast days. They named Minneapolis the least-stressed city.