There is seemingly no end to the bad news coming out of Stockton: the Central Valley’s beleaguered port city recently rated as 3rd least literate in an annual study of the nation’s worst read, surpassed only by Corpus Christi and Bakersfield on the low-end of the scale.
Stockton, extremely hard hit by the housing downturn, keeps getting singled out for its shortcomings, ranked as most miserable one year city in a survey there, and a highest foreclosure rate in a study there. It made headlines when it filed for bankruptcy this summer, becoming the biggest city to do so.
The last two years, the city has trailed only Oakland in violent crime for the state.
The more I get to know Stockton, the more depressing the portrait becomes. Brace yourself for 24/7WallStreet.com’s description of the city’s literacy rankings in Central Connecticut State U’s survey, each sentence more dispiriting than the last:
The city of Stockton ranked among the bottom in nearly all categories of literacy. For instance, it ranked among the worst in the circulation of publications and journals. Further, in 2011, only about three in four residents at least 25 years old had a high school education, and just over 17% had a college degree — both measures among the lowest of all large U.S. cities. This is apparent in the income of Stockton’s residents: more than one in four lived below the poverty line in 2011, compared to just under 16% in the country as a whole.
It has gotten so that whenever I see a story about best and worst cities, I check to see whether Stockton earned further ignominy. Yesterday, I came across this clickable story and hit pay dirt. Again.
But it could be worse. Not that long ago, a quick Google search reveals, Stockton was dead last on the survey.