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Digest of Education Statistics: 2004
Digest of Education Statistics: 2004

NCES 2006-005
October 2005


Table 389. Literacy skills of adults, 16 years old and over, by type of literacy, proficiency levels, and selected characteristics: 1992

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                 |       Prose literacy\1\    |     Document literacy\2\   |   Quantitative literacy\3\
Selected                         |____________________________|____________________________|____________________________
characteristic                   |  Av-|Percent of adults with|  Av-|Percent of adults with|  Av-|Percent of adults with
                                 |erage| proficiency at level |erage| proficiency at level |reage| proficiency at level
                                 |score|______________________|score|______________________|score|______________________
                                 |     |  1 | 2 |  3 | 4 |  5 |     |  1 | 2 |  3 | 4 |  5 |     |  1 | 2 |  3 | 4 |  5
_________________________________|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____
1                                |   2 |  3 | 4 |  5 | 6 |  7 |   8 |  9 |10 | 11 |12 | 13 |  14 | 15 |16 | 17 |18 | 19
_________________________________|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____
   Total ........................|  272|  21| 27|  32| 17|   3|  267|  23| 28|  31| 15|   3|  271|  22| 25|  31| 17|   4
                                 |_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____
Sex                              |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
  Male ..........................|  272|  22| 26|  31| 18|   4|  269|  23| 27|  31| 17|   3|  277|  21| 23|  31| 20|   5
  Female ........................|  273|  20| 28|  33| 17|   3|  265|  23| 30|  31| 14|   2|  266|  23| 28|  31| 15|   3
                                 |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
Age                              |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
  16 to 18 years old ............|  271|  16| 35|  38| 11|   1|  274|  15| 34|  38| 12|   1|  268|  20| 35|  33| 12|   1
  19 to 24 years old ............|  280|  14| 29|  37| 18|   2|  280|  14| 29|  37| 18|   2|  277|  16| 28|  37| 16|   2
  25 to 39 years old ............|  284|  15| 24|  34| 22|   5|  282|  16| 25|  35| 21|   4|  283|  17| 23|  33| 21|   5
  40 to 54 years old ............|  286|  15| 23|  34| 22|   5|  278|  17| 27|  33| 19|   3|  286|  16| 22|  33| 23|   6
  55 to 64 years old ............|  260|  26| 31|  30| 12|   1|  249|  30| 34|  26|  8|   1|  261|  25| 30|  30| 13|   2
  65 years old and older ........|  230|  44| 32|  19|  5|   1|  217|  53| 32|  13|  2|   #|  227|  45| 26|  20|  7|   2
                                 |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
Race/ethnicity                   |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
  White, non-Hispanic ...........|  286|  14| 25|  36| 21|   4|  280|  16| 27|  34| 19|   3|  287|  14| 24|  35| 21|   5
  Black, non-Hispanic ...........|  237|  38| 37|  21|  4|  # |  230|  43| 36|  18|  3|   #|  224|  46| 34|  17|  3|  #
  Asian/Pacific Islander ....... |  242|  36| 25|  25| 12|   2|  245|  34| 25|  28| 12|   2|  256|  30| 23|  27| 16|   4
  American Indian/Alaska Native .|  254|  25| 39|  28|  7|   1|  254|  27| 37|  29|  7|  # |  250|  33| 32|  28|  7|   1
  Hispanic, Mexican .............|  206|  54| 25|  16|  5|  # |  205|  54| 25|  16|  4|  # |  205|  54| 25|  17|  4|  #
  Hispanic, Cuban ...............|  211|  53| 24|  17|  6|   1|  212|  48| 30|  16|  4|   2|  223|  46| 20|  25|  6|   3
  Hispanic, Puerto Rican ........|  218|  47| 32|  17|  3|  # |  215|  49| 29|  18|  3|  # |  212|  51| 28|  17|  3|   1
  Hispanic, Central/             |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
     South American .............|  207|  56| 22|  17|  4|  # |  206|  53| 25|  16|  4|  # |  203|  53| 25|  18|  4|  #
  Hispanic, other ...............|  260|  25| 27|  33| 13|   2|  254|  28| 26|  32| 12|   2|  246|  31| 25|  31| 11|   1
                                 |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
Highest level of education       |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
  Still in high school ..........|  271|  16| 36|  37| 11|  # |  274|  15| 35|  38| 12|   1|  269|  19| 35|  32| 12|   1
  0 to 8 years, not enrolled ....|  177|  75| 20|   4| # |  # |  170|  79| 18|   3| # |  # |  169|  76| 18|   5|  1|  #
  9 to 12 years, not enrolled ...|  231|  42| 38|  17|  2|  # |  227|  46| 37|  15|  2|  # |  227|  45| 34|  17|  3|  #
  GED ...........................|  268|  14| 39|  39|  7|  # |  264|  17| 42|  34|  7|  # |  268|  16| 38|  35| 10|   1
  High school diploma ...........|  270|  16| 36|  37| 10|   1|  264|  20| 38|  33|  9|   1|  270|  18| 33|  37| 12|   1
  Some college ..................|  294|   8| 23|  45| 22|   3|  290|   9| 27|  42| 20|   2|  295|   8| 23|  42| 23|   4
  Associate's degree ............|  308|   4| 19|  41| 32|   4|  299|   6| 23|  43| 25|   3|  307|   4| 19|  43| 29|   5
  Bachelor's degree .............|  322|   4| 11|  35| 40|  10|  314|   4| 15|  37| 36|   8|  322|   4| 12|  35| 38|  12
  Graduate studies/degree .......|  336|   2|  7|  28| 47|  16|  326|   3| 10|  34| 41|  12|  334|   2|  9|  30| 42|  17
                                 |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
Region                           |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
  Northeast .....................|  270|  22| 28|  31| 16|   3|  264|  24| 29|  30| 14|   2|  267|  24| 25|  31| 16|   4
  Midwest .......................|  279|  16| 28|  35| 18|   3|  274|  19| 30|  33| 16|   2|  280|  17| 26|  34| 19|   4
  South .........................|  267|  23| 28|  30| 15|   3|  262|  26| 29|  29| 14|   2|  265|  25| 27|  29| 15|   4
  West ..........................|  276|  20| 23|  33| 21|   4|  271|  22| 24|  32| 18|   3|  276|  20| 22|  32| 20|   5
                                 |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |    |     |    |   |    |   |
Prison population ...............|  246|  31| 37|  26|  6|  # |  240|  33| 38|  25|  4|  # |  236|  40| 32|  22|  6|   1
_________________________________|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____|_____|____|___|____|___|____

#Rounds to zero.
\1\Prose literacy is the ability to understand and use information contained in various kinds of textual material. A level 1 task rated 0 to 225 requires the reader to locate a single piece of information in a short text. A level 2 task rated 226 to 275 requires the reader to locate a single piece of information in the text with several distractors or to make low-level inferences. A level 3 task rated 276 to 325 requires the reader to make literal or synonymous matches between the text and information given in the task, or to make low-level inferences. A level 4 task rated 326 to 375 requires the reader to perform multiple-feature matches and to integrate or synthesize information from complex passages. A level 5 task rated 376 to 500 requires the reader to search for information in dense text which contains a number of distractors. Adults at each performance level can perform the tasks below their level, but not all the tasks at their own level.
\2\Document literacy reflects the knowledge and skills used to process information from documents. A level 1 task rated 0 to 225 requires the reader to locate pieces of information based on a literal match. A level 2 task rated 226 to 275 requires the reader to match a single piece of information among several distractors. A level 3 task rated 276 to 325 requires the reader to integrate multiple pieces of information from one or more documents. A level 4 task rated 326 to 375 requires the performance of multiple-feature matches, cycling through documents, and integrating information. A level 5 task rated 376 to 500 requires the reader to search through complex displays that contain multiple distractors, to make high-level text-based inferences. Adults at each performance level can perform the tasks below their level, but not all the tasks at their own level.
\3\Quantitative literacy is the ability to perform numerical operations in everyday life. A level 1 task rated 0 to 225 requires the reader to perform a single, relatively simple, arithmetic operation. A level 2 task rated 226 to 275 requires the reader to perform a single operation using numbers that are either stated in the task or easily located in the material. A level 3 task rated 276 to 325 requires the reader to use two or more numbers to solve the problem. A level 4 task rated 326 to 375 requires the reader to perform two or more sequential operations or a single operation in which the quantities are found in different types of displays. A level 5 task rated 376 to 500 requires the reader to perform multiple operations sequentially. They must extract the features of the problem from text or rely on background knowledge to determine the quantities or operations needed. Adults at each performance level can perform the tasks below their level, but not all the tasks at their own level.

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Adult Literacy Survey, Adult Literacy in America, 1992. (This table was prepared February 1994.)