Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America

Reading at Risk presents the results from the literature segment of the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, conducted by the Census Bureau in 2002 at the NEA' s request. The survey asked more than 17,000 adults if - during the previous 12 months - they had read any novels, short stories, poetry or plays in their leisure time, that were not required for work or school. The report extrapolates and interprets data on literary reading and compares them with results from similar surveys carried out in 1982 and 1992.

Of particular interest are the connections made between reading and cultural, sports and volunteer activities.

The title of the NEA's press release speaks volumes: "Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline, According to National Endowment for the Arts Survey: Fewer Than Half of American Adults Now Read Literature".

The press release and the full report can be found at: Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America