By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 05, 2005 at 11:24 AM

America's Most Literate Cities 2005, a ranking based on the culture and resources for reading in the 69 largest U.S. cities, aims to rate cities not on whether their citizens can read, but whether they do. The study, released last week, attempts to capture one critical index of our nation's social health-the literacy of its major cities (population of 250,000 and above).

This year's report ranks Milwaukee No. 29, up from No. 34 last year, and ahead of many cities like New York, Tucson, Las Vegas, Buffalo, Chicago and Jacksonville. Madison did not make the population cut this year, but was in the top ten in past years.

The data was collected by author and education researcher John Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

A total score for each city was tallied across six different literacy categories: Booksellers; Educational attainment; Internet Resources; Library Resources; Newspaper Circulation; and Periodical publications. All categories were compared against the city's total population.

For the Internet resource category, the study used number of library connections, commercial and public wireless access points per capita, online book orders and percentage of adults who have read newspapers/sites online. Seattle, Boston and Austin were the top three, respectively, in the category, helping lift Seattle into the top overall spot. Seattle was second to Minneapolis last year.

The top 10 are here:

1. Seattle, WA

2. Minneapolis, MN

3. Washington, DC

4. Atlanta, GA

5. San Francisco, CA

6. Denver, CO

7. Boston, MA

8. Pittsburgh, PA

9. Cincinnati, OH (tie)

9. St. Paul, MN (tie)

Full rankings are here: