Reading is good for you: Key Facts

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Literacy and Health:

Around 175 million working days were lost to illness in 2006. This represents a significant cost, not only economically, but also in terms of social exclusion.

The annual cost of sickness absence and worklessness associated with working age ill-health is estimated to be over £100 billion. (ibid)

Mental ill-health can have diverse and long-term effects on individuals, families and society. Estimates place the cost at about £77 billion per year for England when wider impacts on wellbeing are included and £49 billion for economic costs alone. (ibid)

Women with low literacy skills were five times more likely than those with average or good literacy skills to be depressed.

37% of men and 31% of women with Entry Level 2 literacy agreed that they‘ve never get what they want’ compared with just 16% and 14% of those with Level 2 literacy. (ibid)

Only 50% of men and women with very low literacy agreed that they were ‘satisfied with life so far’ compared with 75-80% for all other literacy levels. (ibid)

Children Looked After are 10 times more likely to have a statement of special educational needs.

1/3 of prisoners were in care as children.

Prisoners and those recently released from custody have high rates of mental illness and alcohol misuse. Up to 90% of the prison population has a mental disorder and/or a substance misuse problem.

Young offenders were found to have high levels of needs in a number of different areas including mental health (31%), education/work (36%) and social relationships (48%).

These facts are part of the body of research that can be accessed by following this link:

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