“The average reading age in the UK is nine years old and so we should write in a way that is easy to understand for all users.”
Source: Office for National Statistics
When I first saw this I was shocked – it just didn’t seem right – and I’m sure it’s not. I contacted the ONS and they couldn’t give me a source except that it came from the Department of Education.
The National Literacy Trust says: a government survey of adult literacy skills found that 14.9% of adults in England have literacy levels at or below Entry Level 3, which is equivalent to the literacy skills expected of a nine to 11-year-old.
Adults with skills below Entry Level 3 may not be able to understand labels on pre-packaged food or understand household bills.
I don’t know h