Study: U.K. Kids Reading Less, But Digital Formats Pick Up
New National Literacy Trust research Children’s Reading Today shows that children are reading less as their lives get more crowded. In 2005, four young people in 10 read daily outside of class. Today only three young people in 10 read daily in their own time. On the eve of International Literacy Day, the charity is calling for a national campaign to halt this decline.
Funded by law firm Slaughter and May, the research with 21,000 children and young people across the UK reveals the number of children who enjoy reading very much or quite a lot has remained static since 2005 (50% today vs 51% in 2005). This highlights a clear issue with children’s leisure time with many children enjoying reading but pushing it out in favor of other activities. The research found:
- More than a fifth of children (22%) rarely or never read in their own time
- More than half (54%) prefer watching TV to reading
- Nearly a fifth (17%) would even be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading
- 77% of children read magazines in 2005 now just 57% do, comic reading has dropped from 64% to 50%, reading on websites from 64% to 50%
It is essential to make the time for children to read as the research shows there is a clear link between reading outside of class and children’s achievement. It found young people who read outside of class daily were 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age. Children in the UK are currently ranked 25th out of 65 developed countries in reading.
National Literacy Trust. (2012). Children’s Reading Today. http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/research/nlt_research/4816_childrens_reading_today
oday versus 51 percent in 2005.