I recently came across some interesting statistics. Sometimes you need to be careful with statistics because they can always be skewed to show what you want versus what a different side wants, but these are rather interesting… feel free to interpret them as you wish.

I’m pulling these statistics from “Shaping the Story: Helping Students Encounter God in a New Way” by Michael Novelli.


  • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book
  • 57% of new books aren’t read to completion
  • Most readers don’t get past page 18 in a book they’ve purchased
  • A poll of 5th grader’s reading habits outside of school revealed that 50% read 4 min a day or less outside of school, 30% read 2 min a day or less, 10% read nothing
  • 80% of graduating high school seniors say they’ll never again voluntarily read a book
  • 65% of college freshmen read for pleasure for less than one hour a week or not at all
  • 70% of Americans haven’t visited a bookstore in five years
  • More than 20% of adults read at or below a 5th grade level – far below the level needed to earn a living wage
  • Half of US households didn’t purchase a book in 2001
  • Customers 55 and older account for more than 1/3 of all books bought in 2001


  • In 2006, the average American home had more TV sets (2.73) than people (2.55). More than 50% of homes have at least 3 working TV sets
  • On average, TVs are turned on for 8 hours and 14 min a day
  • The average adult watches 4 hours and 35 min of TV each day. Kids average about 4 hours
  • Children who have TVs in their bedrooms: 32% of 2-7 year olds and 65% of 8-18 year olds
  • 35% of children and teenagers have video game systems in their rooms
  • 72% of kids ages 8-17 years old report multi-tasking while watching TV
  • Children average 6.5 hours a day – more than 44 hours per week – in front of a screen (TV, computer, video game, and so on)
  • 35% of tweens (kids ages 8-12) own a mobile phone; 20% use text messaging; and 64% download and play music on their phones
  • More than 70% of Americans ages 15-34 use social networks online
  • Nearly 2/3 of teenagers – 63% – have a cell phone
  • Teenagers average 16.7 hours and adults average 11.6 hours of weekly internet usage
  • Americans aged 13-18 spend more than 72 hours a week using electronic media – defined as the Internet, cell phones, TV, music, and video games. Because teenagers are known for multi-tasking, their usage of devices can overlap


  1. Thanks!

    I posted about these statistics 5 or more years ago but since lost the original source. Didn’t realize I had an alternate source sitting on my shelf.

    The bit on reading makes me sad…I’m over 30 for the year 🙂

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