Research

Children and young people's reading in 2017/18

Added 05 Jun 2019

This report outlines findings from our eighth Annual Literacy Survey relating to children and young people’s reading.

49,049 children and young people aged eight to 18 in the UK participated in our survey between November 2017 and January 2018. Where possible, we relate our findings back to the reading surveys we conducted from 2005.

Our report explored:

  • How many children and young people enjoy reading
  • How often they read in their free time
  • The type of formats they read, in print and on screens
  • How good a reader they think they are
  • What they think about reading
  • Which groups of young people are more likely to engage in reading
  • How reading differs by geographical region

We found that:

  • After six years of increasing reading enjoyment levels, children and young people's reading enjoyment decreased in 2017/18 (from 58.6% in 2016 to 56.6% in 2017/18)
  • Levels of daily reading decreased for a second consecutive year, falling from 32% in 2016 to 30.8% in 2017/18
  • Children and young people’s reading engagement has steadily fallen over the past four years
  • Children and young people are slightly more likely to read more formats in print than digitally in their free time at least once a month (2.95 print formats vs 2.12 formats on screen)
  • Children and young people who enjoy reading are five times more likely to read above the level expected for their age compared with their peers who don’t enjoy reading (17.0% vs 3.5%)
  • Children and young people who read daily are four times more likely to read above the level expected for their age compared with their peers who don’t read daily (22.3% vs 5.7%)