The number of children who enjoy reading for pleasure has increased but the gender gap between girls and boys has widened, according to a new report from the National Literacy Trust (NLT).
For this year’s ‘Children’s and Young People’s Reading’, an annual report into children’s reading habits, the NLT surveyed young people aged eight to 18 in the UK in November and December 2014.
During that period, 54.4% of children and young people said they enjoyed reading very much or quite a lot, compared to 53.3% in 2013. Last year there was also an increase in the number of those who read daily outside school (41.4%, up from 32.2% in 2013).
The NLT asked participants about what types of reading the children did, dividing it into categories such as fiction, websites, text messages, song lyrics and e-books, and 46.7% said they read fiction outside the class. All formats had grown in popularity apart from magazines, which were read by 48.7% of children, compared to 52.7% in 2013.
However, the survey also showed that the gap between the number of girls who read compared to boys is wider than before, as 61.6% of girls said they enjoyed reading either very much or quite a lot compared with 47.2% of boys.
The gap rose from a 12.7 percentage point difference in 2013 to a 14.4 percentage point difference in 2014 because more girls said they enjoyed reading, while the number of boys who said the same thing remained static.