Following my question about literacy levels in Cornwall yesterday, the news today is coincidentally about stalling literacy levels nationally. Officially, the national average remains at 99% adult literacy in the United Kingdom.
Trying to get a firm grip on how these figures are calculated (or even what level of reading and writing is referred to) is extremely difficult. I do remember hearing a decade ago of an extraordinarily low literacy rate in Cornwall, however, and after a bit of hunting online I found a government report which puts the adult literacy rate in Cornwall at 87%.
Whether or not those two figures are directly comparable I don’t know, but if so it’s an enormous gap (and one of some enormity).
Thankyou for your forbearance into this diversion – discussions of literacy are not, of course, directly relevant to discussions of literature and I shan’t pursue the matter any further (but feel free to add your comments below).