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Table 462. Average reading literacy scale scores of fourth-graders and percentage whose schools emphasize reading skills and strategies at or before second grade or at third grade, by sex and country or other education system: 2001, 2006, and 2011
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Country or other education system1 Average reading literacy scale score2 Percent of fourth-graders in 2011, by grade at which reading skills and strategies emphasized3
2001 2006 2011
Total Male Female
At or before
second grade
At third grade
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
PIRLS average4  500   (†) 500   (†) 500   (†) 504   (0.5) 520   (0.5) 28   (0.5) 68   (0.5)
Australia   (†)   (†) 527   (2.2) 519   (2.7) 536   (2.7) 73   (4.0) 27   (4.0)
Austria   (†) 538   (2.2) 529   (2.0) 525   (2.3) 533   (2.2) 29   (4.2) 71   (4.2)
Azerbaijan5   (†)   (†) 462 6 (3.3) 456 6 (3.5) 470 6 (3.6) 19   (3.6) 79   (3.8)
Belgium (French)-BEL   (†) 500   (2.6) 506 6,7 (2.9) 504 6,7 (3.1) 509 6,7 (3.1) 29   (5.0) 70   (5.1)
Bulgaria 550   (3.8) 547   (4.4) 532   (4.1) 524   (4.3) 539   (4.5) 25   (3.5) 74   (3.6)
                                           
Canada   (†)   (†) 548 6 (1.6) 542 6 (2.1) 555 6 (1.7) 55   (2.7) 44   (2.7)
Chinese Taipei-CHN   (†) 535   (2.0) 553   (1.9) 546   (2.1) 561   (2.1) 17   (3.0) 80   (3.0)
Colombia 422   (4.4)   (†) 448   (4.1) 448   (4.6) 447   (4.6) 13   (3.3) 81   (3.6)
Croatia   (†)   (†) 553 6 (1.9) 546 6 (2.2) 560 6 (2.1) 31   (4.1) 68   (4.2)
Czech Republic 537   (2.3)   (†) 545   (2.2) 542   (2.5) 549   (2.5) 24   (3.8) 74   (4.0)
                                           
Denmark   (†) 546   (2.3) 554 6 (1.7) 548 6 (2.1) 560 6 (1.9) 21   (2.4) 79   (2.4)
England-GBR 553 4,5 (3.4) 539   (2.6) 552 7 (2.6) 540 7 (3.1) 563 7 (3.0) 84   (3.3) 15   (3.2)
Finland   (†)   (†) 568   (1.9) 558   (2.2) 578   (2.3) 10   (2.6) 87   (2.8)
France 525   (2.4) 522   (2.1) 520   (2.6) 518   (2.4) 522   (3.4) 18   (3.3) 81   (3.4)
Georgia5   (†) 471 6,8 (3.1) 488 8 (3.1) 477 8 (4.0) 499 8 (2.7) 20   (2.8) 79   (2.9)
                                           
Germany 539   (1.9) 548   (2.2) 541   (2.2) 537   (2.7) 545   (2.3) 30   (3.4) 69   (3.3)
Hong Kong-CHN 528   (3.1) 564   (2.4) 571 9 (2.3) 563 9 (2.5) 579 9 (2.3) 16   (3.5) 81   (3.8)
Hungary 543   (2.2) 551   (3.0) 539   (2.9) 532   (3.2) 547   (3.2) 28   (4.1) 71   (4.0)
Indonesia   (†) 405   (4.1) 428   (4.2) 419   (4.3) 437   (4.5)   (†) 88   (3.2)
Iran, Islamic Republic of 414   (4.2) 421   (3.1) 457   (2.8) 448   (4.3) 467   (4.3) 7   (1.6) 85   (2.4)
                                           
Ireland   (†)   (†) 552   (2.3) 544   (3.0) 559   (2.9) 40   (4.0) 60   (4.0)
Israel 509 10 (2.8) 512 10 (3.3) 541 9 (2.7) 538 9 (3.4) 544 9 (3.1) 59   (4.7) 41   (4.7)
Italy 541   (2.4) 551   (2.9) 541   (2.2) 540   (2.7) 543   (2.4) 15   (2.5) 84   (2.5)
Lithuania 543 8 (2.6) 537 8 (1.6) 528 6,8 (2.0) 520 6,8 (2.4) 537 6,8 (2.4) 23   (3.3) 76   (3.4)
Malta   (†)   (†) 477   (1.4) 468   (2.0) 486   (1.9) 14   (0.1) 86   (0.1)
                                           
Morocco 350 11 (9.6) 323   (5.9) 310 12 (3.9) 296 12 (4.6) 326 12 (4.0)   (†) 48   (4.0)
Netherlands 554 7 (2.5) 547 7 (1.5) 546 7 (1.9) 543 7 (2.2) 549 7 (2.1) 22 13 (4.4) 78 13 (4.4)
New Zealand 529   (3.6) 532   (2.0) 531   (1.9) 521   (2.7) 541   (2.2) 73   (3.6) 27   (3.6)
Northern Ireland-GBR   (†)   (†) 558 7 (2.4) 550 7 (3.2) 567 7 (2.5) 55 13 (4.6) 45 13 (4.6)
Norway 499   (2.9) 498 13 (2.6) 507 11 (1.9) 500 11 (2.7) 514 11 (2.2) 14   (3.4) 83   (3.9)
                                           
Oman   (†)   (†) 391 14 (2.8) 371 14 (3.4) 411 14 (3.0) 4   (0.9) 86   (2.0)
Poland   (†) 519   (2.4) 526   (2.1) 519   (2.7) 533   (2.5) 6 ! (2.1) 94   (2.1)
Portugal   (†)   (†) 541   (2.6) 534   (2.8) 548   (3.0) 25   (4.1) 75   (4.1)
Qatar   (†) 353   (1.1) 425 6 (3.5) 411 6 (4.2) 441 6 (4.7) 24   (3.0) 66   (3.4)
Romania 512   (4.6) 489   (5.0) 502   (4.3) 495   (4.3) 510   (4.8) 14   (3.4) 85   (3.5)
                                           
Russian Federation 528 6 (4.4) 565 6 (3.4) 568   (2.7) 559   (3.1) 578   (2.8) 50   (3.7) 50   (3.7)
Saudi Arabia   (†)   (†) 430   (4.4) 402   (8.2) 456   (3.1) 7   (1.7) 78   (3.5)
Singapore 528   (5.2) 558   (2.9) 567 6 (3.3) 559 6 (3.6) 576 6 (3.5) 46   (#) 54   (#)
Slovak Republic 518   (2.8) 531   (2.8) 535   (2.8) 530   (2.8) 540   (3.1) 24   (3.2) 76   (3.3)
Slovenia 502   (2.0) 522   (2.1) 530   (2.0) 523   (2.7) 539   (2.2) 8   (1.8) 87   (2.4)
                                           
Spain   (†) 513   (2.5) 513   (2.3) 511   (2.8) 516   (2.5) 29   (3.2) 71   (3.2)
Sweden 561   (2.2) 549   (2.3) 542   (2.1) 535   (2.5) 549   (2.4) 37 13 (4.5) 63 13 (4.5)
Trinidad and Tobago   (†) 436   (4.9) 471   (3.8) 456   (4.3) 487   (4.5) 32   (3.8) 66   (4.0)
United Arab Emirates   (†)   (†) 439   (2.2) 425   (3.5) 452   (3.0) 15   (1.3) 68   (2.2)
United States 542 6,7 (3.8) 540 7 (3.5) 556 6 (1.5) 551 6 (1.7) 562 6 (1.9) 75 13 (2.7) 24 13 (2.7)
                                           
Benchmarking education                                          
systems                                          
Abu Dhabi-UAE   (†)   (†) 424   (4.7) 406   (6.3) 442   (5.5) 11   (2.6) 61   (4.4)
Alberta-CAN   (†) 560 6 (2.4) 548 6 (2.9) 543 6 (3.1) 553 6 (3.1) 52   (4.5) 48   (4.5)
Andalusia-ESP   (†)   (†) 515   (2.3) 511   (2.8) 519   (2.4) 26   (3.6) 74   (3.6)
Dubai-UAE   (†)   (†) 476   (2.0) 470   (3.5) 483   (3.9) 28   (0.3) 66   (0.3)
Florida-USA15   (†)   (†) 569 8,10 (2.9) 561 8,10 (3.0) 576 8,10 (3.4) 82 13 (4.7) 18 13 (4.7)
                                           
Maltese-MLT   (†)   (†) 457   (1.5) 445   (2.2) 470   (2.0) 14   (0.1) 86   (0.1)
Ontario-CAN 548 6 (3.3) 555 6 (2.7) 552 6 (2.6) 546 6 (2.8) 558 6 (3.3) 75   (4.0) 25   (4.0)
Quebec-CAN 537   (3.0) 533   (2.8) 538   (2.1) 531   (2.4) 544   (2.6) 23   (3.9) 75   (4.1)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
#Rounds to zero.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater.
1 Most of the education systems represent complete countries, but some represent subnational entities such as U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and England (which is part of the United Kingdom). The name of each subnational entity appears in italics and includes as a suffix the three-letter International Organization for Standardization (ISO) abbreviation for its complete country. Examples include Florida-USA, Ontario-CAN, and England-GBR.
2 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000, with the scale average set at 500 and the standard deviation set at 100.
3 Based on principals’ reports of the earliest grade at which each of 11 reading skills and strategies first receive a major emphasis in instruction. A school is counted as emphasizing reading skills and strategies at a certain grade (or before) only if its principal reported that all 11 skills and strategies are emphasized at that grade (or before). A small percentage of fourth-graders (1 percent in the United States) are not shown because their schools first emphasized reading skills and strategies at fourth grade or later.
4 The PIRLS average includes only education systems that are members of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAE), which develops and implements PIRLS at the international level. "Benchmarking" education systems are not members of the IEA and are therefore not included in the average.
5 Exclusion rates for Azerbaijan and Georgia are slightly underestimated as some conflict zones were not covered and no official statistics were available for 2011.
6 National Defined Population covers 90 percent to 95 percent of National Target Population.
7 Met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included.
8 National Target Population does not include all of the International Target Population.
9 National Defined Population covers less than 90 percent of National Target Population.
10 National Defined Population covers less than 80 percent of National Target Population.
11 Nearly satisfied guidelines for sample participation rates after replacement schools were included.
12 The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center has reservations about the reliability of the average achievement score because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeds 25 percent.
13 Data are available for at least 70 percent but less than 85 percent of students.
14 The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center has reservations about the reliability of the average achievement score because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeds 15 percent, though it is less than 25 percent.
15 All data for Florida are based on public schools only.
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), 2001, 2006, and 2011. (This table was prepared February 2013).
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education