Adult Literacy Facts: Health, gender equality, poverty


Every important social issue is impacted by low literacy. When individuals learn how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers, they have the power to lift themselves out of poverty, lower health care costs, find and keep sustainable employment and ultimately change their lives.

An excess of $230 billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy. Nearly half of American adults have difficulty understanding and using health information. Lack of understanding impedes adults’ abilities to make appropriate health decisions and increases the likelihood that they’ll incur higher health costs.

Individuals at the lowest literacy and numeracy levels have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average. Low literacy costs the United States at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.

You Can Help

Consider becoming a volunteer tutor. You may choose to work with children or adults. After attending our professional training it takes only two hours per week to change a life. CALC is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit and donations are always welcome.

Capital Area Literacy Coalition

1028 E. Saginaw St., Lansing, MI

(517) 485-4949


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