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Table 602.50. Average reading literacy scores of 15-year-old students and percentage attaining reading literacy proficiency levels, by country or other education system: 2012
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Country or other education system Average reading literacy score Percentage attaining reading literacy proficiency levels1
Below level 2 At level 2 At level 3 At level 4 At or above level 5
Total below level 2 Below
level 1b
At level 1b At level 1a Total
at or above level 5
At level 5 At level 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
OECD average2 496   (0.5) 18.0   (0.18) 1.3   (0.05) 4.4   (0.08) 12.3   (0.13) 23.5   (0.16) 29.1   (0.17) 21.0   (0.16) 8.4   (0.12) 7.3   (0.10) 1.1   (0.04)
                                                                   
Australia 512   (1.6) 14.2   (0.46) 0.9   (0.11) 3.1   (0.21) 10.2   (0.42) 21.6   (0.47) 29.1   (0.53) 23.3   (0.51) 11.7   (0.54) 9.8   (0.46) 1.9   (0.19)
Austria 490   (2.8) 19.5   (1.07) 0.8   (0.24) 4.8   (0.64) 13.8   (0.84) 24.2   (0.89) 29.6   (0.92) 21.2   (0.94) 5.5   (0.61) 5.2   (0.59) 0.3   (0.10)
Belgium 509   (2.3) 16.2   (0.77) 1.6   (0.31) 4.1   (0.40) 10.4   (0.55) 20.4   (0.62) 27.3   (0.70) 24.4   (0.71) 12.3   (0.55) 10.4   (0.54) 1.4   (0.17)
Canada 523   (1.9) 10.9   (0.45) 0.5   (0.09) 2.4   (0.19) 8.0   (0.36) 19.4   (0.55) 31.0   (0.72) 25.8   (0.59) 12.9   (0.62) 10.8   (0.53) 2.1   (0.22)
Chile 441   (2.9) 33.0   (1.67) 1.0   (0.19) 8.1   (0.79) 23.9   (1.08) 35.1   (1.08) 24.3   (1.06) 6.9   (0.62) 0.6   (0.10) 0.6   (0.11)   (†)
                                                                   
Czech Republic 493   (2.9) 16.9   (1.21) 0.6 ! (0.27) 3.5   (0.56) 12.7   (0.94) 26.4   (1.30) 31.3   (1.23) 19.4   (1.13) 6.1   (0.55) 5.3   (0.49) 0.8   (0.16)
Denmark 496   (2.6) 14.6   (1.07) 0.8 ! (0.30) 3.1   (0.39) 10.7   (0.77) 25.8   (0.92) 33.6   (0.85) 20.5   (0.86) 5.4   (0.62) 5.1   (0.58) 0.4 ! (0.12)
Estonia 516   (2.0) 9.1   (0.65)   (†) 1.3   (0.28) 7.7   (0.61) 22.7   (0.94) 35.0   (1.06) 24.9   (1.08) 8.3   (0.72) 7.5   (0.71) 0.9   (0.18)
Finland 524   (2.4) 11.3   (0.71) 0.7   (0.16) 2.4   (0.38) 8.2   (0.57) 19.1   (0.81) 29.3   (0.70) 26.8   (0.84) 13.5   (0.64) 11.3   (0.60) 2.2   (0.26)
France 505   (2.8) 18.9   (0.98) 2.1   (0.40) 4.9   (0.43) 11.9   (0.70) 18.9   (0.85) 26.3   (0.84) 23.0   (0.67) 12.9   (0.85) 10.6   (0.62) 2.3   (0.41)
                                                                   
Germany 508   (2.8) 14.5   (0.91) 0.5 ! (0.18) 3.3   (0.40) 10.7   (0.67) 22.1   (0.93) 29.9   (0.86) 24.6   (0.88) 8.9   (0.70) 8.3   (0.64) 0.7 ! (0.23)
Greece 477   (3.3) 22.6   (1.24) 2.6   (0.40) 5.9   (0.60) 14.2   (0.83) 25.1   (1.06) 30.0   (1.02) 17.2   (1.19) 5.1   (0.61) 4.6   (0.59) 0.5   (0.13)
Hungary 488   (3.2) 19.7   (1.22) 0.7 ! (0.24) 5.2   (0.64) 13.8   (0.88) 24.3   (1.17) 29.9   (1.00) 20.4   (1.05) 5.6   (0.75) 5.3   (0.68) 0.4 ! (0.13)
Iceland 483   (1.8) 21.0   (0.72) 2.3   (0.33) 5.4   (0.47) 13.3   (0.63) 24.7   (0.92) 29.9   (1.09) 18.6   (1.12) 5.8   (0.51) 5.2   (0.41) 0.6 ! (0.21)
Ireland 523   (2.6) 9.6   (0.88) 0.3 ! (0.13) 1.9   (0.35) 7.5   (0.69) 19.6   (1.19) 33.4   (1.17) 26.0   (0.90) 11.4   (0.65) 10.1   (0.67) 1.3   (0.35)
                                                                   
Israel 486   (5.0) 23.6   (1.64) 3.8   (0.59) 6.9   (0.74) 12.9   (0.96) 20.8   (0.87) 25.3   (0.81) 20.6   (1.03) 9.6   (0.84) 8.1   (0.77) 1.5   (0.30)
Italy 490   (2.0) 19.5   (0.67) 1.6   (0.15) 5.2   (0.29) 12.7   (0.48) 23.7   (0.57) 29.7   (0.53) 20.5   (0.62) 6.7   (0.35) 6.1   (0.33) 0.6   (0.07)
Japan 538   (3.7) 9.8   (0.92) 0.6   (0.16) 2.4   (0.37) 6.7   (0.67) 16.6   (0.89) 26.7   (0.98) 28.4   (1.08) 18.5   (1.27) 14.6   (0.99) 3.9   (0.59)
Korea, Republic of 536   (3.9) 7.6   (0.89) 0.4   (0.13) 1.7   (0.39) 5.5   (0.60) 16.4   (0.94) 30.8   (1.00) 31.0   (1.06) 14.1   (1.24) 12.6   (1.05) 1.6   (0.32)
Luxembourg 488   (1.5) 22.2   (0.74) 2.0   (0.21) 6.3   (0.33) 13.8   (0.81) 23.4   (0.71) 25.8   (0.64) 19.7   (0.64) 8.9   (0.39) 7.5   (0.35) 1.4   (0.20)
                                                                   
Mexico 424   (1.5) 41.1   (0.90) 2.6   (0.22) 11.0   (0.53) 27.5   (0.70) 34.5   (0.62) 19.6   (0.54) 4.5   (0.25) 0.4   (0.09) 0.4   (0.08)   (†)
Netherlands 511   (3.5) 14.0   (1.23)   (†) 2.8   (0.49) 10.3   (0.93) 21.0   (1.27) 29.2   (1.32) 26.1   (1.36) 9.8   (0.82) 9.0   (0.72) 0.8   (0.19)
New Zealand 512   (2.4) 16.3   (0.83) 1.3   (0.28) 4.0   (0.46) 11.0   (0.67) 20.8   (0.76) 26.3   (1.06) 22.7   (1.06) 14.0   (0.77) 10.9   (0.62) 3.0   (0.37)
Norway 504   (3.2) 16.2   (1.03) 1.7   (0.31) 3.7   (0.36) 10.8   (0.69) 21.9   (1.03) 29.4   (1.35) 22.3   (1.21) 10.2   (0.74) 8.5   (0.61) 1.7   (0.31)
Poland 518   (3.1) 10.6   (0.80) 0.3 ! (0.11) 2.1   (0.35) 8.1   (0.74) 21.4   (0.90) 32.0   (0.89) 26.0   (0.96) 10.0   (0.93) 8.6   (0.76) 1.4   (0.37)
                                                                   
Portugal 488   (3.8) 18.8   (1.42) 1.3   (0.30) 5.1   (0.53) 12.3   (0.98) 25.5   (1.16) 30.2   (1.46) 19.7   (1.07) 5.8   (0.61) 5.3   (0.57) 0.5 ! (0.15)
Slovak Republic 463   (4.2) 28.2   (1.78) 4.1   (0.77) 7.9   (0.80) 16.2   (1.06) 25.0   (1.08) 26.8   (1.38) 15.7   (0.96) 4.4   (0.68) 4.1   (0.60)   (†)
Slovenia 481   (1.2) 21.1   (0.68) 1.2   (0.14) 4.9   (0.37) 15.0   (0.71) 27.2   (0.77) 28.4   (0.94) 18.2   (0.63) 5.0   (0.43) 4.7   (0.45) 0.3 ! (0.12)
Spain 488   (1.9) 18.3   (0.76) 1.3   (0.17) 4.4   (0.38) 12.6   (0.47) 25.8   (0.81) 31.2   (0.68) 19.2   (0.62) 5.5   (0.30) 5.0   (0.30) 0.5   (0.10)
Sweden 483   (3.0) 22.7   (1.15) 2.9   (0.39) 6.0   (0.64) 13.9   (0.72) 23.5   (0.88) 27.3   (0.73) 18.6   (0.93) 7.9   (0.64) 6.7   (0.53) 1.2   (0.20)
                                                                   
Switzerland 509   (2.6) 13.7   (0.76) 0.5   (0.14) 2.9   (0.34) 10.3   (0.59) 21.9   (0.86) 31.5   (0.71) 23.8   (0.84) 9.1   (0.68) 8.2   (0.60) 1.0   (0.25)
Turkey 475   (4.2) 21.6   (1.43) 0.6   (0.15) 4.5   (0.57) 16.6   (1.07) 30.8   (1.39) 28.7   (1.34) 14.5   (1.39) 4.3   (0.85) 4.1   (0.79) 0.3 ! (0.13)
United Kingdom 499   (3.5) 16.6   (1.30) 1.5   (0.27) 4.0   (0.54) 11.2   (0.79) 23.5   (1.01) 29.9   (1.08) 21.3   (1.14) 8.8   (0.74) 7.5   (0.59) 1.3   (0.24)
United States 498   (3.7) 16.6   (1.26) 0.8 ! (0.24) 3.6   (0.49) 12.3   (0.89) 24.9   (0.99) 30.5   (0.88) 20.1   (1.08) 7.9   (0.67) 6.9   (0.59) 1.0   (0.22)
                                                                   
Non-OECD education systems                                                                  
Albania 394   (3.2) 52.3   (1.28) 12.0   (0.84) 15.9   (1.00) 24.4   (1.23) 24.7   (1.01) 15.9   (0.73) 5.9   (0.61) 1.2   (0.25) 1.1   (0.24)   (†)
Argentina 396   (3.7) 53.6   (1.73) 8.1   (0.80) 17.7   (1.20) 27.7   (1.34) 27.3   (1.12) 14.6   (0.91) 4.0   (0.57) 0.5   (0.14) 0.5 ! (0.15)   (†)
Brazil 410   (2.1) 49.2   (1.13) 4.0   (0.36) 14.8   (0.64) 30.4   (0.79) 30.1   (0.77) 15.8   (0.63) 4.4   (0.37) 0.5   (0.12) 0.5   (0.12)   (†)
Bulgaria 436   (6.0) 39.4   (2.21) 8.0   (1.07) 12.8   (1.15) 18.6   (1.10) 22.2   (1.16) 21.4   (1.10) 12.7   (1.03) 4.3   (0.64) 3.8   (0.56) 0.5 ! (0.18)
Chinese Taipei 523   (3.0) 11.5   (0.87) 0.6   (0.15) 2.5   (0.32) 8.4   (0.65) 18.1   (0.83) 29.9   (0.92) 28.7   (1.01) 11.8   (0.84) 10.4   (0.73) 1.4   (0.32)
                                                                   
Colombia 403   (3.4) 51.4   (1.78) 5.0   (0.76) 15.4   (0.98) 31.0   (1.29) 30.5   (1.22) 14.5   (0.91) 3.2   (0.50) 0.3 ! (0.13) 0.3 ! (0.12)   (†)
Connecticut-USA3 521   (6.5) 13.2   (1.76)   (†) 3.2   (0.87) 9.7   (1.26) 19.6   (1.49) 28.2   (1.32) 24.4   (1.83) 14.5   (1.68) 11.7   (1.38) 2.9   (0.54)
Costa Rica 441   (3.5) 32.4   (1.81) 0.8 ! (0.24) 7.3   (1.02) 24.3   (1.25) 38.1   (1.40) 22.9   (1.42) 6.0   (0.78) 0.6 ! (0.19) 0.6 ! (0.19)   (†)
Croatia 485   (3.3) 18.7   (1.29) 0.7 ! (0.25) 4.0   (0.59) 13.9   (0.97) 27.8   (1.07) 31.2   (1.24) 17.8   (1.09) 4.4   (0.69) 4.2   (0.66) 0.2 ! (0.11)
Cyprus 449   (1.2) 32.8   (0.67) 6.1   (0.32) 9.7   (0.44) 17.0   (0.61) 25.1   (0.78) 24.9   (0.75) 13.2   (0.64) 4.0   (0.32) 3.5   (0.34) 0.5   (0.12)
                                                                   
Florida-USA3 492   (6.1) 17.5   (2.00) 0.7 ! (0.31) 3.6   (0.75) 13.2   (1.46) 25.8   (1.56) 30.9   (1.50) 20.4   (2.06) 5.5   (1.02) 4.9   (1.00)   (†)
Hong Kong-China 545   (2.8) 6.8   (0.72) 0.2 ! (0.09) 1.3   (0.24) 5.3   (0.61) 14.3   (0.79) 29.2   (1.21) 32.9   (1.39) 16.8   (1.16) 14.9   (1.00) 1.9   (0.39)
Indonesia 396   (4.2) 55.2   (2.18) 4.1   (0.81) 16.3   (1.28) 34.8   (1.56) 31.6   (1.54) 11.5   (1.28) 1.5 ! (0.53)   (†)   (†)   (†)
Jordan 399   (3.6) 50.7   (1.57) 7.5   (0.84) 14.9   (0.79) 28.3   (1.01) 30.8   (1.14) 15.5   (0.83) 2.9   (0.63)   (†)   (†)   (†)
Kazakhstan 393   (2.7) 57.1   (1.56) 4.2   (0.47) 17.3   (1.24) 35.6   (1.15) 31.3   (1.12) 10.4   (0.87) 1.2   (0.24)   (†)   (†)   (†)
                                                                   
Latvia 489   (2.4) 17.0   (1.14) 0.7 ! (0.24) 3.7   (0.54) 12.6   (0.96) 26.7   (1.31) 33.1   (1.05) 19.1   (0.88) 4.2   (0.55) 3.9   (0.56) 0.3 ! (0.11)
Liechtenstein 516   (4.1) 12.4   (1.88) #   (†)   (†) 10.5   (1.85) 22.4   (3.44) 28.6   (4.53) 25.7   (2.44) 10.9   (2.89) 10.4   (2.44)   (†)
Lithuania 477   (2.5) 21.2   (1.18) 1.0   (0.19) 4.6   (0.49) 15.6   (1.06) 28.1   (1.13) 31.1   (0.94) 16.3   (0.78) 3.3   (0.37) 3.1   (0.35) 0.2 ! (0.07)
Macao-China 509   (0.9) 11.5   (0.42) 0.3 ! (0.11) 2.1   (0.22) 9.0   (0.42) 23.3   (0.58) 34.3   (0.67) 24.0   (0.60) 7.0   (0.41) 6.4   (0.48) 0.6 ! (0.21)
Malaysia 398   (3.3) 52.7   (1.71) 5.8   (0.59) 16.4   (1.03) 30.5   (0.99) 31.0   (1.09) 13.6   (1.11) 2.5   (0.45)   (†)   (†)   (†)
                                                                   
Massachusetts-USA3 527   (6.1) 11.5   (1.37)   (†) 2.3   (0.55) 8.6   (1.19) 18.5   (1.76) 29.8   (1.52) 24.2   (1.82) 16.1   (1.98) 12.9   (1.59) 3.2   (0.86)
Montenegro, Repubic of 422   (1.2) 43.3   (0.75) 4.4   (0.53) 13.2   (0.62) 25.7   (0.94) 29.2   (0.77) 19.9   (0.76) 6.6   (0.53) 1.0   (0.19) 0.9   (0.19)   (†)
Peru 384   (4.3) 59.9   (1.95) 9.8   (0.87) 20.6   (1.11) 29.5   (0.98) 24.9   (1.02) 11.4   (0.96) 3.3   (0.61) 0.5 ! (0.21) 0.5 ! (0.21)   (†)
Qatar 388   (0.8) 57.1   (0.42) 13.6   (0.32) 18.9   (0.48) 24.6   (0.44) 21.9   (0.50) 13.5   (0.43) 5.8   (0.21) 1.6   (0.14) 1.4   (0.13) 0.2   (0.05)
Romania 438   (4.0) 37.3   (1.87) 2.5   (0.38) 10.3   (0.82) 24.4   (1.28) 30.6   (1.12) 21.8   (1.17) 8.7   (0.88) 1.6   (0.38) 1.5   (0.35)   (†)
                                                                   
Russian Federation 475   (3.0) 22.3   (1.29) 1.1   (0.18) 5.2   (0.49) 16.0   (1.03) 29.5   (1.08) 28.3   (1.05) 15.3   (0.93) 4.6   (0.58) 4.2   (0.51) 0.5   (0.12)
Serbia, Republic of 446   (3.4) 33.1   (1.66) 2.6   (0.40) 9.3   (0.73) 21.3   (1.09) 30.8   (1.20) 23.3   (1.15) 10.5   (0.81) 2.2   (0.41) 2.0   (0.39) 0.2 ! (0.08)
Shanghai-China 570   (2.9) 2.9   (0.39)   (†) 0.3 ! (0.11) 2.5   (0.34) 11.0   (0.85) 25.3   (0.85) 35.7   (1.07) 25.1   (1.19) 21.3   (0.98) 3.8   (0.65)
Singapore 542   (1.4) 9.9   (0.42) 0.5   (0.12) 1.9   (0.27) 7.5   (0.41) 16.7   (0.65) 25.4   (0.66) 26.8   (0.79) 21.2   (0.60) 16.2   (0.73) 5.0   (0.43)
Thailand 441   (3.1) 33.0   (1.40) 1.2   (0.29) 7.7   (0.77) 24.1   (0.98) 36.0   (1.12) 23.5   (1.13) 6.7   (0.79) 0.8   (0.22) 0.8   (0.21)   (†)
                                                                   
Tunisia 404   (4.5) 49.3   (2.24) 6.2   (0.91) 15.5   (1.20) 27.6   (1.31) 31.4   (1.43) 15.6   (1.15) 3.5   (0.69)   (†)   (†)   (†)
United Arab Emirates 442   (2.5) 35.5   (1.08) 3.3   (0.34) 10.4   (0.65) 21.8   (0.72) 28.6   (0.72) 24.0   (0.77) 9.7   (0.58) 2.2   (0.29) 2.1   (0.28) 0.2 ! (0.06)
Uruguay 411   (3.2) 47.0   (1.42) 6.4   (0.70) 14.7   (0.84) 25.9   (0.88) 28.9   (1.00) 17.4   (0.71) 5.7   (0.62) 0.9   (0.27) 0.9   (0.26)   (†)
Vietnam 508   (4.4) 9.4   (1.43)   (†) 1.5 ! (0.48) 7.8   (1.10) 23.7   (1.40) 39.0   (1.47) 23.4   (1.47) 4.5   (0.81) 4.2   (0.71) 0.4 ! (0.16)
†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. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into reading literacy levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: below level 1b (a score less than or equal to 262.04); level 1b (a score greater than 262.04 and less than or equal to 334.75); level 1a (a score greater than 334.75 and less than or equal to 407.47); level 2 (a score greater than 407.47 and less than or equal to 480.18); level 3 (a score greater than 480.18 and less than or equal to 552.89); level 4 (a score greater than 552.89 and less than or equal to 625.61); level 5 (a score greater than 625.61 and less than or equal to 698.32); and level 6 (a score greater than 698.32).
2 Refers to the mean of the data values for all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, to which each country contributes equally, regardless of the absolute size of the student population of each country.
3 Results are for public school students only.
NOTE: Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012. (This table was prepared November 2013.)
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