Skip Navigation

Countries

The table below lists the total number of education systems that have participated in each of the four administrations of PIRLS. This number includes both countries and subnational entities, such as Canadian provinces, U.S. states, England, and Hong Kong. (Below the table that follows, see the more detailed explanation about the distinction between countries and education systems.) In the first administration of PIRLS in 2001, 36 education systems participated, followed by 45 in 2006, and 57 in 2011. In the most recent administration of PIRLS in 2016, a total of 55 education systems participated (though note that this total of 55 includes one education systems that only gave the 4th-grade assessment to 5th- graders). Additionally in 2016, 16 education systems also participated in ePIRLS, an innovative new 4th-grade assessment of online reading.

Education system 2001 2006 2011 2016
PIRLS PIRLS PIRLS PIRLS ePIRLS
Argentina        
Australia      
Austria    
Azerbaijan      
Bahrain        
Belgium (Flemish)-BEL      
Belgium (French)-BEL    
Belize        
Bulgaria  
Canada    
Chile        
Chinese Taipei  
Colombia      
Croatia        
Cyprus        
Czech Republic    
Denmark  
England-GBR  
Finland      
France  
Georgia  
Germany  
Greece        
Hong Kong-CHN  
Hungary  
Iceland1      
Indonesia      
Iran, Islamic Republic of  
Ireland    
Israel2
Italy
Kazakhstan        
Kuwait      
Latvia    
Lithuania  
Luxembourg        
Macao-CHN        
Macedonia, Republic of      
Malta      
Moldova, Republic of      
Morocco3  
Netherlands  
New Zealand  
Northern Ireland-GBR      
Norway4,5
Oman      
Poland    
Portugal    
Qatar2    
Romania    
Russian Federation  
Saudi Arabia      
Scotland-GBR      
Singapore
Slovak Republic  
Slovenia
South Africa        
Spain    
Sweden6
Trinidad and Tobago    
Turkey        
United Arab Emirates    
United States
Total 34 40 45 47 14
           
U.S. benchmarking states          
Florida-USA        
Total 0 0 1 0 0
           
Other benchmarking participants          
Abu Dhabi-UAE    
Alberta-CAN      
Andalusia-ESP      
British Columbia-CAN        
Buenos Aires, ARG        
Dubai-UAE    
Maltese-MLT        
Moscow City, RUS        
Nova Scotia-CAN        
Ontario-CAN  
Quebec-CAN  
Total 2 5 7 7 2
           
Off-grade participants          
Botswana7        
Eng/Afr(5)-RSA8      
Honduras7        
Iceland1        
Kuwait7        
Morocco3        
Norway4      
Sweden6        
Total 1 2 5 2 0
● = Indicates participation in particular assessment with results reported.
1 Administered the PIRLS 4th-grade assessment to 4th-grade students and 5th-grade students in 2006.
2 Participated in 2001 and/or 2006 but data not comparable for measuring trends to 2011, primarily due to countries improving translations or increasing population coverage.
3 Administered the PIRLS 4th-grade assessment to a national sample of 4th-grade students and a national sample of 6th-grade students in 2011.
4 Administered the PIRLS 4th-grade assessment to 4th-grade students and 5th-grade students in 2006 and 2016.
5 Administered the ePIRLS 4th-grade assessment to 5th-grade students in 2016.
6 Administered the PIRLS 4th-grade assessment to 3rd-grade students and 4th-grade students in 2001.
7 Administered the PIRLS 4th-grade assessment to 6th-grade students in 2011.
8 Republic of South Africa (RSA) tested 5th-grade students receiving instruction in English (ENG) or Afrikaans (AFR).
NOTE: OECD member countries are bolded. Subnational education systems are italicized.
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

Countries or Education Systems?

The international bodies that coordinate international assessments vary in the labels they apply to participating entities. For example, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), which coordinates PIRLS and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), differentiates between IEA members, which the IEA refers to as "countries" in all cases, and "benchmarking participants." IEA members include countries such as the United States, as well as subnational entities such as England (which is part of the United Kingdom) and Hong Kong (which is a Special Administrative Region of China). IEA benchmarking participants are all subnational entities and include Canadian provinces, U.S. states, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (among others). The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which coordinates the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), differentiates between OECD member countries and all other participating entities (called "partner countries" or "partner economies"), which include countries and subnational entities. In PISA, the United Kingdom and Belgium are reported as whole countries. Hong Kong is a PISA partner country, as are countries like Singapore, which is not an OECD member but is an IEA member.

In an effort to increase the comparability of results across the international assessments that the United States participates in, the PIRLS 2011 U.S. national report uses a standard international classification of nation-states (see the U.S. State Department list of "independent states" at http://www.state.gov/s/inr/rls/4250.htm) to report out separately "countries" and "other education systems," which include all other non-national entities that received a PIRLS score. The report's tables and figures, which are primarily adapted from the IEA's PIRLS 2011 international report, follow the IEA PIRLS convention of placing members and nonmembers in separate parts of the tables and figures in order to facilitate readers' moving between the international and U.S. national report. However, the text of the PIRLS 2011 U.S. national report will refer to "countries" and "other education systems," following the standard classification of nation-states.

Top