Bakersfield ranked the lowest in literacy in the U.S.

Ranked lowest for the second year in a row

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - At Russo's books in Bakersfield, you can find many locals sitting around enjoying a magazine or picking up a new book. But, according to a new study from Central Connecticut State University, Bakersfield is the nation's most illiterate city in the nation.

The study ranked 67 cities with at least 250,000 people and this is the second year in a row that Bakersfield is at the bottom.

Morgan Long, a bookseller at Russo books, is not surprised by the study.


"We recently did a major event for black history month with five nationally recognized authors and the turn out was so poor we had to apologize to the authors for the embarrassment of not having anyone there to celebrate what they do," Long said.


Researchers analyzed how many bookstores are in the area, the library systems, the education system, and how much time people spend reading online.


Anita Becherer, a Bakersfield resident, thinks the study may be an inaccurate representation.


"I think it's unfair and I don't think it's an accurate reading of a comparison from other places," Becherer said.


The city ranked most literate in the U.S. is Washington D.C., followed by Seattle and Minneapolis.

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