Pew Report: Millennials Are Bigger Bookworms Than Their Elders

A Pew Research report has found people under 30 are reading more than people over 30. Is Harry Potter to thank?

It turns out that Millennials are the most well-read generation we've seen in quite a while. This is according to an extensive Pew Research report on younger Americans and libraries, released earlier this week. Carolyn Kellogg of The Los Angeles Times has the scoop:

"According to the report, 88% of Americans 16 to 29 years old have read at least one book in the past year, compared with 79% of people 30 and older.

And millennials who read aren't just picking up one book. 'Among younger Americans who did read at least one book, the median or typical number read in the past year was 10,' the report adds.

About 43% of millennials read books on a daily basis; that's a figure comparable to older adults."

While Pew doesn't seek to find out exactly why Millennials read more, one can assume that the generation's affinity for technology (and therefore Amazon, Audible, and library websites) plays a role. You can also point to the influence of programs such as Reading Rainbow, the increased emphasis on making reading fun in public schools, and the popularity of the Harry Potter series, which got a lot of people under 30 excited about books at a young age.

As mentioned, the main focus of the report is to map out how Americans under 30 engage with libraries. While it was found that Millennials use their local libraries at about the same rate as the general population, they tend to value them less. From Pew:

"Younger Americans are among the least likely to say that libraries are important. Some 19% of those under 30 say their library’s closing would have a major impact on them and their family, compared with 32% of older adults, and 51% of younger Americans say it would have a major impact on their community, compared with 67% of those 30 and older."

Read more at The Los Angeles Times and check out the entire report at Pew.

Photo credit: suravid / Shutterstock

American education: It’s colleges, not college students, that are failing

Who is to blame for the U.S.'s dismal college graduation rate? "Radical" educator Dennis Littky has a hunch.

Percentage of college student dropouts by age at enrollment: 2-year and 4-year institutions

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • COVID-19 has magnified the challenges that underserved communities face with regard to higher education, such as widening social inequality and sky-high tuition.
  • At College Unbound, where I am president, we get to know students individually to understand what motivates them, so they can build a curriculum based on goals they want to achieve.
  • My teaching mantra: Everything is permitted during COVID-19. Everything is permitted during COVID-19. Everything is permitted during COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may finally be solved

Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.

Surprising Science

One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.

Keep reading Show less

STARTS 11 AM ET | The 'Great Midlife Edit': How to master your middle years

Did you know that shifting to a positive perspective on aging can add 7.5 years to your life? Or that there is a provable U-curve of happiness that shows people get happier after age 50?

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

Keep reading Show less

These countries are leading the transition to sustainable energy

Sweden tops the ranking for the third year in a row.

Technology & Innovation

What does COVID-19 mean for the energy transition? While lockdowns have caused a temporary fall in CO2 emissions, the pandemic risks derailing recent progress in addressing the world's energy challenges.

Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…