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July 31, 2014

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Report: Las Vegas No. 52 on list of country’s most literate big cities

If new rankings are any indication, some Southern Nevadans might prefer to crack open a beer than a book.

On its list of America’s Most Literate Cities, Central Connecticut State University ranked Las Vegas 52nd among cities with more than 250,000 residents. Henderson ranked 63rd.

In the previous year's rankings, Henderson was 64th and Las Vegas ranked 50th.

To create the rankings, the university used six metrics: number of bookstores per 10,000 residents, education level, library resources, newspaper circulation, periodical publication and Internet resources.

Henderson tied for 18th place with Boston for education level, but Las Vegas ranked 64th, just below Corpus Christi, Texas. Educational level was measured using two variables: percentage of population that holds a high school diploma or higher, and the percentage of the population that holds a bachelor’s degree.

Las Vegas tied with Houston, Texas, for 33rd place in bookstores. Henderson ranked 73rd in the number of bookstores per 10,000 residents.

According to the list, the most literate cities are Washington, D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis. The least literate cities were Bakersfield, Calif., Aurora, Colo., and Stockton, Calif.

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  1. vegasbike,

    Yes, the way they are scoring this in todays world is flawed but why blame the messenger? The LV Sun.

    They are just reporting the news, not making it.

    You can't blame the town either. Bottom line it is up to people what they become and what they do with their life. To many in this town do not desire education. To many want it all without doing anything to earn it. That is not the fault of Las Vegas, that is the fault of the people.

  2. Vegaslee,

    You write: "To many in this town do not desire education. To many want it all without doing anything to earn it..."

    The word is "Too," not "To": "Too many in this town..."

    The defense rests.

  3. Phoenix is 58 (figures), Santa Ana and Long Beach CA come in 67 and 68, and the last 4 are Anaheim CA, Bakersfield CA, Aurora Co and Stockton CA (75).

    That we are ahead of Anaheim is really surprising.
    My brother lives in Aurora, I'm going to call him up, tell him to buy some books and stop going to the refrigerator so often. It's probably half his fault that Aurora turns out to be such a dud, but they do have great scenery.

  4. You don't need to know much to do most of the jobs that are offered here in Las Vegas. Besides if people get too smart, they will no longer support the status quo. The controlling parties benefit from our ignorance.

  5. The artice states that six metrics were used: number of bookstores per 10,000 residents, education level, library resources, newspaper circulation, periodical publication and Internet resources.
    Why would anyone go to a Chain Bookstore instead of just going to Amazon. Educational Level - Valid Point, however for most service jobs in Las Vegas why spend money educating the population to only see them leave for opportunities in California.
    Newspapers, or existing newspapers are hardly worth reading - little investigative journalism and extreme political slants. Internet resources. Our Internet providers are poor at best - look at the number of fiber connections in this city and the lack of regulations to force them to provide better service. Periodical publication are available on the net for free.

  6. This study correlates most closely to the ratio of the population that is low-income/non-English speaking (especially Mexican). Closer inspection confirms the validity of the research indices (Bohemian-gay) of Richard Florida and his writings on the "Creative City". Of the 19 cities at the bottom of this Connecticut study, 16 have large non-English speaking populations, while only San Francisco (#6) out of the top 19 cities does. Only four of the BOTTOM 19 cities (Phoenix 58, Houston 60, Los Angeles 61, and San Antonio 62) have unusually large gay populations. Conversely, only 4 of the TOP 19 (St. Louis 9.5, Cincinnati 11, Raleigh 13 and Cleveland 14) LACK particularly large or influential gay populations.

    Low rankings of both Henderson 63 and Mesa, AZ 65 can be explained by the influence of religion as precisely reflected in both cities by the convergence of religious with political leadership (why read books when you know it all already?). The highest rating for a "religious" city is #24 (Colorado Springs) or, some might say, Cincinnati (#11). I can't explain Aurora, CO 74. (unless it's SunJon's obesity index).

    New York #26 and Miami #29.5 have large non-English populations, but their primary Hispanic influences emanate from the Caribbean and South America. One sees many bookstores, newspapers, and people reading in public in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and even Peru, but few in Mexico.

    Las Vegas really belongs in a class all by itself, but is held down by rules imposed by the Federal Government which has an historic aversion to our business, attitudes and freedoms. Las Vegas would be really a world-class city (think Hong Kong, Paris, London, NY, San Francisco or even ancient Athens), if we were really free to make our own policy choices, if we weren't forced into Washington's enemy-creating and tourism-destroying wars and morality campaigns, if Las Vegas were free to issue visas at its city gates like Hong Kong and Macao, if Washington didn't force our young people onto the streets and into gangs instead of providing opportunities to work, etc. Even though this study appears to confirm Florida's research findings with regard to Las Vegas, I believe our Bohemian-gay indices are really higher than he reports. Combined with the freedom from Washington's dictates, Las Vegas would surge to the top of this and every other ranking.

    BTW, for those who believe that there exists a static number of jobs and for those who don't mind consigning the 60% school drop-outs to the streets: The mere granting of visas to foreigners, who now control 90% of the money in the world and who all want to visit LV, but can't thanks to Washington, would require us to start building hotels again. With very different leadership LV can literally become THE world class city, THE city with everything.

  7. I thought in this day and age everyone finished high school, until I moved to Las Vegas.
    ****

    Not necessarily so. I had this 3 month job during the summer working in a store in a large, reputable grocery store chain. There were 6 of us working in this department - 4 of us were older, one guy was in his 40's, and the last 2 never finished high school - 1 female and 1 male. Both were 20 and had no inclination to even go get their GED's. They were more into tatoos and piercings and I guess happy with making minimum wage. So it's not just in Vegas.

  8. Las Vegas really belongs in a class all by itself, but is held down by rules imposed by the Federal Government which has an historic aversion to our business, attitudes and freedoms. Las Vegas would be really a world-class city (think Hong Kong, Paris, London, NY, San Francisco or even ancient Athens), if we were really free to make our own policy choices, if we weren't forced into Washington's enemy-creating and tourism-destroying wars and morality campaigns, if Las Vegas were free to issue visas at its city gates like Hong Kong and Macao, if Washington didn't force our young people onto the streets and into gangs instead of providing opportunities to work, etc. Even though this study appears to confirm Florida's research findings with regard to Las Vegas, I believe our Bohemian-gay indices are really higher than he reports. Combined with the freedom from Washington's dictates, Las Vegas would surge to the top of this and every other ranking.

    ****

    Good grief! WTF are you talking about?????

    It's VEGAS, silly!!! A City that came to be because of vice - gambling and sex. And that's why it IS in a class unto itself. Last I checked, the Federal Government didn't have any aversions to Vegas! Like it cares what happens in Vegas. Do not even compare Vegas to Paris, London or NY! It is, well, it's VEGAS!!! Sheesh!!

    PS Those in gangs are in gangs because that IS their job and way of life. NO ONE forces them to drop out of school and join a gang. On the flip side - The Federal Gov't can give all those slacking gang bangers jobs - it's called the Military Draft.

  9. @ Just_Me - You make an interesting observation. Maybe the answer to your question might lie in finding out how many people in Henderson are RETIRED and do not purchase books as much, or -

    @ vegasbike - you suggest maybe more books are being purchased on-line, or read through other mediums (e.g., Kindle) or on the Internet via computers. You are right, and this information CANNOT BE MEASURED ACCURATELY.

    Of course, the CRITERIA for this survey leaves much to be "imagined" or desired in terms of validity. You cannot take a "poll" of the subject criteria, and expect to find definitive answers to these "on-liner" questions. At least not a responsible one that will chastise some cities, while and applauding others. And if any of the questions were structured based on CENSUS information, I would not put much faith in the answers.

    For a real example, if you surveyed many college students (on campus) with the same criteria, you MIGHT EXPECT a large number of the student population would be found intelligent, educated, learned, etc. Especially since a college is an modern, technology-based institute of higher learning. BUT THE ANSWERS WOULD NOT BE ACCURATE!

    For proof, ask the EMPLOYERS of college graduates. A large number of college students need REMEDIAL education after graduation just to do satisfactory work at a job. Yet he/she has just spent 4 years in an attempt to gain such knowledge that would enable them to become productive.

    The scoring for any one of the cities in this survey is a similar illusion, and is also subject to misrepresentation of the data. Further, the results could be attributed to improper phrasing of a question, insufficient review of the critera involved, or just misinterpretation of the answer.

    Of equal importance, there is no absolute way to define intellectual qualities through a random survey.

    SO MUCH for the "presumed" INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY of the survey's originators.

    p.s. I have done over 6,000 interviews,and employee / corporate surveys in 14 years as a management consultant - and I have found that it is often difficult to get explicit, and credible, answers to questions asked. So to draw such conclusions as this story presents, in the manner such conclusions were reached - and consider them valid - is questionable.

    For whatever reasons (the people of) Las Vegas (or any other city) do not appear very high on such lists, I suggest that the method reported in this story does not present a reliable indicator of the intelligence level of this City (community). It takes some uncommon "smarts" to run a gambling empire.

  10. The future is going to be very different from the past. For starters the Information Age consists of accumulating information curiously and without pre-judgments, re-assembling the information and then communicating in a unique and compelling manner. The long-gone industrial age consisted of following directions given by the boss/pope/president/parent/teacher. Education must be based on experiential learning (internships, work-study)--not on the memorization of factoids in a simulated school/factory/church/jail setting.

    It is no coincidence that parents and teachers were taught to use the computer by their middle schoolers! Today few of us over forty years old can even imagine what jobs are going to exist 5 or even 2 years from now, but we use the unmerited respect and authority our society thoughtlessly hands us in order to criticize, stifle, and force our young people into solving OUR life problems. The super-obsolete Baby Boom Generation, for example, only knows how to spend money, complain, play victim, destroy creativity, put down subsequent generations of knowledge already in existence, collect unemployment, and pile debt on future generations.

    Baby Booming Hendersonians may have a high level of education, but they blew a chance to create a whole new industry--ESL instruction for Chinese teens--in 2009 when, egged on by everyone from the mayor down, they converged on City Hall with figurative pitchforks to ridicule and trash the simple request of Henderson International School to convert rooms to student dorms. Their experiences (with themselves and their semi-delinquent kids, no doubt), the anti-Chinese ravings by their sources of information, and their religious prejudices prevented them from accepting the provable fact that tens of millions of Chinese teens are educated in these conditions without becoming delinquents and while surpassing the scholastic performance of their American contemporaries. Instead of becoming a new employment model, the school is now closed (I believe) and Henderson is all the more ignorant (and unemployed) for it.

    Similarly, dogmatic religionists, Baby Boomers, conformists, war mongers, and the rest of the left-over Industrial Agers are the future's certain losers. Non-conformists, creative individualists, actors, other performers, video game players (who learn to deal instantaneously with the "reality" as presented and to draw CLOSER across cultural and social lines even as they "FIGHT" each other), and similar types I'm incapable even of identifying, much less describing, will be the winners. Will they have to emigrate, like past generations of Europeans and present generations of Latinos, to cultures more friendly to progress and wealth creation before ours collapses? Or will they wrest control from our outdated current national and local political and elite classes and avoid their doomed path into an iceberg so plainly in view?