Fast Facts

College costs

“Among U.S. adults without a college degree, more than half report the cost of a college degree is a very important reason they have not continued their education. Among U.S. adults . . . who are currently enrolled in a certificate or college degree program, about half of associate or bachelor’s degree students report the financial aid they received (51 percent) and their confidence in the value of their eventual degree (49 percent) were very important reasons they were able to remain enrolled.”

Gallup and the Lumina Foundation, “The State of Higher Education 2022 Report,” https://www.gallup.com/analytics/391829/state-of-higher-education-2022.aspx (retrieved July 22, 2022).

Consumer print book purchasing

“Last year, readers bought nearly 827 million print books, an increase of roughly 10 percent over 2020, and a record since NPD BookScan began tracking two decades ago.”

Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris, “A New Way to Choose Your Next Book,” New York Times, June 7, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/07/books/new-book-apps-tertulia.html (retrieved July 26, 2022).

News engagement

“Engagement with news content—across all platforms—has plunged during the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2021 and in some cases has fallen below pre-pandemic levels. Cable news viewership . . . is, on average, down 19 percent in prime time for the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2021. Website visits for the top 5 news websites in the U.S. . . . dropped 18 percent. Engagement on social media with news articles [dropped 50 percent] since the first half of last year, despite more articles published.”

Neal Rothschild and Sara Fischer, “News Engagement Plummets as Americans Tune Out,” Axios, July 12, 2022, https://www.axios.com/2022/07/12/news-media-readership-ratings-2022 (retrieved July 26, 2022).

News deserts

“A fifth of the country’s population—70 million people—now live in an area with no local news organizations, or one at risk, with only one local news outlet and very limited access to critical news and information. The United States continues to lose newspapers at a rate of two per week. . . . About 7 percent of the nation’s counties, or 211, now have no local newspaper.”

Erin Karter, “As Newspapers Close, Struggling Communities Are Hit Hardest by the Decline in Local Journalism,” Northwestern Now, June 29, 2022, https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2022/06/newspapers-close-decline-in-local-journalism (retrieved July 12, 2022).

Public transportation accessibility at America’s community colleges

“36 percent of [college] students in the U.S. attend community college. 99 percent of community college students live off-campus. The average transit spending for a community college student is $1,840 per year. The [Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation] found that only 57 percent of community college main campuses are [public] transit accessible, but an additional 25 percent could be made accessible through very low-cost investments in extending existing bus lines.”

Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation, “SHSF Public Transit Map,” 2022, https://www.shs.foundation/shsf-transit-map (retrieved July 12, 2022).

Gary Pattillo is reference librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, e-mail: pattillo@email.unc.edu

Copyright American Library Association

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