Are we getting smarter?
A new study ranks Atlanta the fifth-most literate major American city, up from sixth last year and eighth the year before.
Seattle came in first, followed by Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Rounding out the top 10 were Portland, St. Paul, Boston, Cincinnati and Denver.
Seattle has finished in the top two for five straight years.
Central Connecticut State University graded cities of 250,000 residents or more in several categories, including educational level, Internet resources, number of bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulation and local publications.
"This set of factors measures people's use of their literacy and thus presents a large-scale portrait of our nation's cultural vitality," said the university's president, Dr. Jack Miller. "From this data, we can better perceive the extent and quality of the long-term literacy essential to individual economic success, civic participation, and the quality of life in a community and a nation."
Highly literate cities often do well in other quality-of-life measurements, Miller added.
"Cities ranked in the top 10 most literate tend to offer the most active singles scenes," Miller noted, citing Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington as examples.
But he added that the most literate cities are not immune to economic distress, pointing out that only Washington, D.C., has relatively low unemployment.
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