Swedish school children have deteriorating reading skills, according to a new study by Professor at Pedagogy Monica Rosén at Göteborg University. Professor Rosén analyzed and compared different countries’ reading skills over the past four decades.

“The reading skills of a Swedish 4th grader today are comparable to those of a Swedish 3rd grader twenty years ago, which is a big change for the worse,” Professor Rosén said.

Hungary, Italy, the U.S. and Sweden are four countries that have been compared in reading skills studies since 1971. In Hungary and Italy the reading development has increased, whereas in Sweden and the U.S. it has decreased rapidly since 1991. The common denominator for the two countries is a marked computer usage by young people. “Almost 40 percent of the deterioration can be explained by the fact that students are using computers more,” Professor Rosén explained. The computer, she continued, has replaced reading books.

Resource: Barns nya datorvanor ger sämre läsförmĺga (Swedish only)