Education: Illiteracy Down

The level of schooling among U.S. adults is higher than ever, reported the U.S. census bureau last week. Half the adult population now has eleven years of schooling (12.1 years in Western states), compared with 9.3 years in 1950. Some 43% of adult Americans have also completed high school, compared with 21% in 1940. Even more striking, illiteracy has fallen to 2.2%—nearly all Americans 14 years or older can read and write.

Biggest educational spurt is among U.S. Negroes. In 1940 only 8% of nonwhite adults had completed high school; last year 20% had done so. And while 80% of nonwhites were...

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