TIME magazine published a study by Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), and examined how well Americans used their literacy skills in some of the nation's largest cities. El Paso was near the bottom of the list, landing the spot of fourth least literate city.

The study ranked the cities based on six categories: bookstores, residents' educational attainment, newspaper circulation, use of online resources, the library system, and periodical publishing resources. The most literate cities were mainly in the Northeast, and they generally had a well-educated and well-paid population.

The study said, “The few magazines published in El Paso collectively had among the lowest circulation rates among large cities, and not one journal had a circulation of at least 500 people in 2013. There were also less bookstores available to El Paso's residents than in any other city last year. Low education rates of the city's residents may partly explain the low demand for bookstores.”

It added that among El Paso's adult population, less than one quarter had at least a bachelor's degree in 2012, worse than most other cities. In 2009, Texas A&M University conducted a study that showed nearly 20% of Texans were unable to read and understand newspaper.