The shares of American 9- and 13-year-olds who say they read for fun on an almost daily basis have dropped from nearly a decade ago and are at the lowest levels since at least the mid-1980s, according to a survey conducted in late 2019 and early 2020 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Among 9-year-old students, 42% said in 2020 that they read for fun almost every day, down from 53% in both 2012 and 1984. Among 13-year-olds, 17% said they read for fun almost every day, a smaller percentage than the 27% who said this in 2012 and roughly half the share (35%) who said this in 1984. It is unclear whether the pandemic may have changed these patterns.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2021). 2020 long-term trend reading assessment. National Assessment of Educational Progress.