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Digest of Education Statistics
2016 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 221.30. Average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scale score and percentage distribution of students, by age, amount of reading for school and for fun, and time spent on homework and watching TV/video: Selected years, 1984 through 2012
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Amount of reading for school and for fun, time spent on homework and watching TV/video 9-year-olds 13-year-olds 17-year-olds
1984 1994 1999 2008 2012 1984 1994 1999 2008 2012 1984 1994 1999 2008 2012
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
  Average scale score1
Pages read daily in school
     and for homework
                                                           
5 or fewer 208 (0.9) 203 (2.3) 202 (1.8) 210 (1.1) 207 (1.1) 250 (0.8) 249 (1.7) 249 (2.0) 250 (1.2) 251 (1.8) 273 (0.8) 271 (1.9) 273 (2.7) 271 (1.3) 274 (1.1)
6-10 215 (1.0) 214 (1.7) 212 (1.7) 219 (1.3) 219 (1.5) 261 (0.6) 261 (1.4) 262 (1.7) 258 (1.2) 261 (1.5) 287 (0.9) 284 (2.1) 285 (1.7) 284 (1.4) 283 (1.2)
11-15 220 (1.4) 217 (2.3) 221 (2.4) 224 (1.4) 225 (1.3) 264 (1.0) 266 (1.8) 263 (2.1) 263 (1.1) 266 (1.8) 294 (0.9) 288 (1.9) 292 (2.1) 290 (1.6) 289 (1.5)
16-20 215 (1.4) 209 (2.9) 214 (2.0) 225 (1.5) 226 (1.2) 263 (1.1) 263 (2.3) 264 (2.6) 267 (1.6) 268 (1.8) 296 (1.1) 298 (2.8) 292 (2.9) 296 (1.5) 297 (1.5)
More than 20 215 (1.6) 217 (2.4) 217 (2.1) 226 (1.2) 227 (1.0) 261 (1.5) 261 (2.0) 265 (2.0) 267 (1.4) 271 (1.3) 300 (1.2) 304 (2.2) 302 (1.9) 303 (1.3) 301 (1.5)
                                                             
Frequency of reading for fun                                                            
Almost every day 214 (1.1) 215 (2.3) 215 (2.4) 225 (1.2) 226 (0.9) 264 (1.4) 272 (3.2) 272 (3.2) 274 (1.4) 276 (1.4) 297 (1.5) 302 (4.2) 301 (4.9) 302 (1.3) 302 (1.3)
Once or twice a week 212 (1.7) 214 (3.1) 215 (2.6) 225 (1.3) 226 (0.9) 255 (1.4) 255 (3.1) 263 (3.2) 264 (1.1) 267 (1.4) 290 (1.7) 286 (4.1) 289 (2.9) 291 (1.7) 294 (1.4)
Once or twice a month 204 (3.3) 213 (5.8) 211 (4.2) 221 (1.7) 219 (2.0) 255 (2.1) 255 (5.7) 260 (3.7) 261 (1.3) 264 (1.7) 290 (1.8) 286 (4.5) 286 (4.8) 288 (1.3) 288 (1.5)
A few times a year 197 (4.2) (†) (†) 212 (2.0) 211 (1.9) 252 (3.6) 252 (5.4) 253 (4.4) 254 (1.3) 258 (1.6) 279 (2.7) 281 (8.2) 283 (4.4) 287 (1.5) 288 (1.3)
Never or hardly ever 198 (2.7) 193 (3.9) 195 (3.3) 211 (1.2) 208 (1.9) 239 (2.5) 237 (5.1) 242 (5.3) 247 (0.9) 249 (1.3) 269 (2.4) 258 (5.2) 262 (5.0) 269 (1.1) 272 (1.4)
                                                             
TV/video watched on
     school day
                                                           
None 212 (3.4) 212 (4.8) 221 (4.6) 223 (3.0) 222 (3.1) 264 (2.7) 270 (5.1) 265 (6.0) 267 (3.0) 276 (3.5) 300 (1.6) 308 (3.4) 300 (2.8) 292 (2.4) 292 (2.5)
1 hour or less 217 (1.5) 216 (1.8) 218 (2.1) 225 (1.2) 229 (1.2) 269 (1.1) 270 (1.5) 270 (1.6) 266 (1.2) 269 (1.2) 300 (1.2) 299 (2.0) 298 (2.0) 293 (1.2) 292 (1.3)
2 hours 222 (1.1) 219 (2.1) 221 (1.7) 229 (1.1) 227 (1.1) 268 (0.8) 268 (1.4) 268 (1.6) 266 (1.1) 266 (1.5) 295 (0.9) 292 (1.8) 292 (2.1) 290 (1.1) 290 (1.3)
3 hours 220 (1.2) 218 (2.2) 218 (2.3) 227 (1.3) 226 (1.4) 264 (0.7) 262 (1.4) 263 (1.5) 262 (1.3) 261 (1.5) 288 (1.0) 284 (2.0) 282 (2.3) 284 (1.3) 284 (1.2)
4 hours 219 (1.0) 212 (1.8) 214 (2.4) 223 (1.4) 224 (1.4) 262 (0.9) 254 (2.2) 254 (2.4) 255 (1.5) 259 (1.5) 284 (1.0) 276 (4.1) 273 (2.2) 276 (2.3) 277 (2.1)
5 hours 214 (1.4) 209 (2.7) 208 (3.0) 219 (2.2) 213 (2.1) 257 (1.0) 250 (3.0) 253 (3.2) 255 (2.6) 255 (2.1) 277 (1.5) 269 (4.0) 275 (3.8) 273 (2.4) 275 (3.9)
6 hours or more 199 (0.8) 192 (2.7) 191 (1.7) 205 (1.2) 205 (1.2) 245 (1.0) 234 (3.1) 238 (1.8) 238 (1.4) 241 (1.4) 269 (1.5) 256 (3.7) 256 (5.2) 256 (2.3) 261 (2.6)
  Percentage distribution
Pages read daily in school
     and for homework
                                                           
5 or fewer 36 (0.8) 28 (1.4) 28 (1.4) 25 (0.9) 22 (0.7) 27 (0.7) 26 (0.9) 23 (1.0) 26 (0.8) 23 (0.8) 21 (0.8) 21 (1.2) 23 (1.4) 30 (0.9) 29 (0.7)
6-10 25 (0.4) 26 (0.6) 24 (0.9) 20 (0.5) 17 (0.6) 34 (0.5) 31 (0.9) 31 (1.1) 24 (0.6) 22 (0.8) 26 (0.6) 25 (0.9) 24 (0.8) 23 (0.5) 22 (0.6)
11-15 14 (0.4) 14 (0.5) 15 (0.7) 14 (0.5) 12 (0.4) 18 (0.4) 17 (0.6) 18 (0.8) 17 (0.5) 17 (0.5) 18 (0.3) 18 (0.6) 17 (0.6) 16 (0.5) 15 (0.4)
16-20 13 (0.4) 14 (0.9) 14 (0.7) 14 (0.6) 15 (0.6) 11 (0.2) 13 (0.5) 13 (0.7) 13 (0.4) 14 (0.5) 14 (0.5) 13 (0.6) 14 (0.8) 12 (0.4) 12 (0.5)
More than 20 13 (0.5) 17 (1.0) 19 (1.0) 28 (0.8) 34 (1.1) 11 (0.5) 14 (0.8) 16 (1.0) 22 (0.9) 24 (1.1) 21 (0.9) 23 (1.5) 22 (1.2) 19 (0.7) 22 (0.7)
                                                             
Frequency of reading for fun                                                            
Almost every day 53 (1.0) 58 (1.6) 54 (1.7) 48 (0.7) 53 (0.8) 35 (1.0) 32 (1.8) 28 (1.7) 26 (0.7) 27 (0.7) 31 (0.8) 30 (2.6) 25 (1.7) 20 (0.6) 19 (0.6)
Once or twice a week 28 (0.8) 25 (1.5) 25 (1.5) 23 (0.6) 23 (0.6) 35 (1.2) 32 (2.1) 36 (1.6) 25 (0.6) 26 (0.6) 33 (1.1) 31 (1.9) 28 (2.7) 22 (0.5) 21 (0.6)
Once or twice a month 7 (0.6) 5 (0.6) 6 (0.6) 8 (0.3) 7 (0.4) 14 (0.8) 14 (1.7) 17 (1.6) 13 (0.4) 14 (0.4) 17 (0.5) 15 (1.5) 19 (1.7) 17 (0.5) 16 (0.4)
A few times a year 3 (0.3) 3 (0.6) 4 (0.7) 8 (0.4) 7 (0.3) 7 (0.5) 10 (1.2) 10 (1.1) 12 (0.4) 11 (0.4) 10 (0.5) 12 (1.5) 12 (1.4) 16 (0.5) 18 (0.6)
Never or hardly ever 9 (0.5) 9 (0.8) 10 (0.8) 14 (0.6) 11 (0.4) 8 (0.6) 12 (1.7) 9 (1.4) 24 (0.7) 22 (0.7) 9 (0.6) 12 (1.4) 16 (2.4) 24 (0.6) 27 (0.6)
                                                             
Time spent on homework
     yesterday
                                                           
No homework assigned 35 (1.3) 32 (2.1) 26 (1.6) 18 (1.3) 22 (1.6) 22 (0.7) 23 (1.4) 24 (1.2) 23 (1.2) 21 (1.2) 22 (0.9) 23 (1.4) 26 (1.0) 28 (0.8) 27 (0.9)
Didn't do assignment 4 (0.3) 4 (0.4) 4 (0.3) 5 (0.3) 4 (0.4) 4 (0.2) 6 (0.6) 5 (0.4) 7 (0.3) 5 (0.3) 11 (0.3) 11 (0.6) 13 (0.7) 12 (0.4) 11 (0.4)
Less than 1 hour 41 (1.0) 48 (1.7) 53 (1.4) 60 (1.2) 57 (1.3) 36 (0.6) 34 (1.0) 37 (1.4) 43 (1.2) 44 (0.8) 26 (0.4) 27 (0.9) 26 (1.0) 27 (0.5) 26 (0.8)
1 to 2 hours 13 (0.4) 11 (0.7) 12 (0.7) 12 (0.5) 12 (0.6) 29 (0.5) 28 (1.0) 26 (1.0) 21 (0.7) 23 (0.9) 27 (0.5) 26 (1.2) 23 (0.8) 22 (0.5) 23 (0.6)
More than 2 hours 6 (0.2) 4 (0.4) 5 (0.5) 5 (0.3) 5 (0.3) 9 (0.3) 9 (0.7) 8 (0.8) 6 (0.4) 7 (0.5) 13 (0.5) 13 (0.9) 12 (0.9) 10 (0.5) 13 (0.7)
                                                             
TV/video watched on
     school day
                                                           
None 3 (0.2) 2 (0.2) 4 (0.8) 4 (0.3) 6 (0.3) 2 (0.2) 3 (0.3) 4 (0.6) 5 (0.3) 6 (0.3) 5 (0.3) 6 (0.8) 6 (0.3) 6 (0.3) 10 (0.3)
1 hour or less 14 (0.3) 23 (1.0) 24 (0.9) 24 (0.6) 27 (0.7) 12 (0.4) 20 (1.0) 22 (0.8) 25 (0.7) 29 (0.6) 25 (0.5) 31 (0.9) 34 (0.9) 33 (0.6) 34 (0.6)
2 hours 16 (0.4) 23 (0.7) 21 (0.9) 18 (0.5) 18 (0.5) 23 (0.5) 27 (0.7) 29 (0.8) 25 (0.5) 27 (0.7) 26 (0.3) 26 (0.8) 26 (0.9) 27 (0.6) 25 (0.5)
3 hours 15 (0.3) 16 (0.5) 14 (0.6) 13 (0.4) 12 (0.5) 23 (0.4) 22 (0.8) 20 (0.9) 18 (0.5) 15 (0.5) 20 (0.3) 18 (0.8) 17 (0.7) 16 (0.5) 16 (0.6)
4 hours 12 (0.2) 11 (0.5) 9 (0.4) 9 (0.4) 8 (0.4) 17 (0.4) 12 (0.7) 11 (0.6) 10 (0.4) 8 (0.3) 12 (0.3) 9 (0.6) 8 (0.5) 8 (0.4) 8 (0.3)
5 hours 9 (0.3) 6 (0.4) 6 (0.4) 6 (0.3) 6 (0.3) 10 (0.3) 7 (0.4) 5 (0.3) 5 (0.3) 4 (0.2) 6 (0.2) 5 (0.5) 4 (0.4) 4 (0.2) 3 (0.2)
6 hours or more 30 (0.7) 20 (0.8) 22 (1.2) 26 (0.8) 23 (0.8) 13 (0.4) 10 (0.9) 9 (0.6) 13 (0.4) 10 (0.5) 6 (0.2) 5 (0.4) 5 (0.6) 6 (0.4) 5 (0.3)
†Not applicable.    
‡Reporting standards not met (too few cases for a reliable estimate).
1 Scale ranges from 0 to 500. Students scoring 150 (or higher) are able to follow brief written directions and carry out simple, discrete reading tasks. Students scoring 200 are able to understand, combine ideas, and make inferences based on short uncomplicated passages about specific or sequentially related information. Students scoring 250 are able to search for specific information, interrelate ideas, and make generalizations about literature, science, and social studies materials. Students scoring 300 are able to find, understand, summarize, and explain relatively complicated literary and informational material.
NOTE: Includes public and private schools. For 1984, 1994, and 1999, accommodations were not permitted. For 2008 and later years, includes students tested with accommodations; excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (2 to 4 percent of all students, depending on age and assessment year). Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), NAEP Trends in Academic Progress, 1996 and 1999; and 2008 and 2012 NAEP Long-Term Trend Reading Assessments, retrieved June 24, 2009, and July 02, 2013, from the Long-Term Trend NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared July 2013.)

2016 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest