Thu February 7, 2013
Arts & Life

Put That Book Down For A Second, Denver Hits #5 On The Most Literate City List

While Baltimore may have beaten the Broncos and won the Super Bowl, Denver is more ‘well-read’ than the champs.

After rounding out the top 10 last year, Denver has moved into the top 5 most literate large cities in America. The study is published by Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and ranks cities according to a series of categories like number of bookstores, library resources, and newspaper circulation.


  1. Washington, DC
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. Minneapolis, MN
  4. Pittsburgh, PA
  5. Denver, CO
  6. St. Paul, MN
  7. Boston, MA
  8. Atlanta, GA
  9. St. Louis, MO
  10. Portland, OR

Denver has always been one of the most learned cities in the country; ranking in the top 10 since 2005 peaking in 2007 at fourth.

Places like the Western Reading Room at the Denver Central Library helped secure that number 5 spot on the list
Credit Nikky Southerland / Flickr - Creative Commons

According to CCSU, the factors the study measure show how people use their literacy and presents a ‘large-scale portrait of our nation’s cultural vitality.’  Other notable Colorado cities with literary flare include 27th ranked Colorado Springs and Aurora which ranked 69th.

Author of the study, Jack Miller president of CCSU, says what matters most is “not whether the rank ordering changes but what communities do to promote the kinds of literacy practices that the data track.”

While beating Baltimore (ranked 19th) may be some consolation for Denver, it mostly likely isn’t for San Francisco (ranked 11th). They rank only slightly ahead of Baltimore which probably doesn't make up for not bringing home the Lombardi.