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PIAAC 2012 Results

Results are now available for the 2012 PIAAC assessment administered to adults age
16 to 65 in the U.S. and 22 other countries in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

Glenn

Phillip


Literacy Tab

How Do Adults in the United States Compare on the Literacy Scale to Their Peers in Other Countries/Regions?

  • Average scores on the PIAAC literacy scale for adults age 16 to 65 ranged from 250 in Italy to 296 in Japan. The U.S. average score was 270. Compared with the U.S. average score, average scores in 12 countries were higher, in 5 countries they were lower, and in 5 countries they were not significantly different.

Average scale score on the PIAAC literacy scale for adults age 16 to 65, by participating country/region: 2012

Higher than U.S., Japan 296, Finland 288, Netherlands 284, Australia 280, Sweden 279, Norway 278, Estonia 276, Flanders-Belgium 275, Czech Republic 274, Slovak Republic 274, Canada 273, PIAAC International Average 273, Republic of Korea 273. Not different than U.S., England and Northern Ireland-United Kingdom 272, Denmark 271, Germany 270, United States 270, Austria 269, Cyprus 269. Lower than U.S., Poland 267, Ireland 267, Ireland 267, France 262, Spain 252, Italy 250.

NOTE: Countries/regions are listed in descending order by unrounded average scores.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2012.

Have Adults in the United States Made Progress in Literacy?

  • On the literacy scale, the average score for adults age 16 to 65 in the United States on the PIAAC (2012) was not significantly different from the score on ALL (2003-08) but was lower than the score on IALS (1994-98).

Average scores on the IALS, ALL, and PIAAC literacy scales for adults in the Unites States age 16 to 65: Various years, 1994-12

IALS 273*, ALL 268, PIAAC 270.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from PIAAC (2012).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics Canada and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), 1994–98, Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL), 2003–08, Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2012.

National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education