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Digest of Education Statistics
2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 405. Mean scores and percentage distribution of 15-year-olds scoring at each scientific literacy proficiency level, by country: 2006
Country or other jurisdiction Mean score Percentage distribution at levels of proficiency1 
Below Level 1 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
OECD total2 491 (1.2) 6.9 (0.28) 16.3 (0.30) 24.2 (0.35) 25.1 (0.27) 18.7 (0.30) 7.4 (0.18) 1.4 (0.08)
OECD average3 500 (0.5) 5.2 (0.11) 14.1 (0.15) 24.0 (0.17) 27.4 (0.17) 20.3 (0.16) 7.7 (0.10) 1.3 (0.04)
                               
Australia 527 (2.3) 3.0 (0.25) 9.8 (0.46) 20.2 (0.63) 27.7 (0.51) 24.6 (0.53) 11.8 (0.53) 2.8 (0.26)
Austria 511 (3.9) 4.3 (0.88) 12.0 (0.98) 21.8 (1.05) 28.3 (1.05) 23.6 (1.12) 8.8 (0.69) 1.2 (0.20)
Belgium 510 (2.5) 4.8 (0.72) 12.2 (0.62) 20.8 (0.84) 27.6 (0.84) 24.5 (0.77) 9.1 (0.47) 1.0 (0.17)
Canada 534 (2.0) 2.2 (0.27) 7.8 (0.47) 19.1 (0.64) 28.8 (0.58) 27.7 (0.65) 12.0 (0.52) 2.4 (0.25)
Czech Republic 513 (3.5) 3.5 (0.57) 12.1 (0.84) 23.4 (1.17) 27.8 (1.09) 21.7 (0.92) 9.8 (0.86) 1.8 (0.32)
                               
Denmark 496 (3.1) 4.3 (0.64) 14.1 (0.75) 26.0 (1.07) 29.3 (1.04) 19.5 (0.91) 6.1 (0.66) 0.7 (0.18)
Finland 563 (2.0) 0.5 (0.13) 3.6 (0.45) 13.6 (0.68) 29.1 (1.07) 32.2 (0.89) 17.0 (0.72) 3.9 (0.35)
France 495 (3.4) 6.6 (0.71) 14.5 (1.05) 22.8 (1.12) 27.2 (1.09) 20.9 (1.00) 7.2 (0.60) 0.8 (0.17)
Germany 516 (3.8) 4.1 (0.68) 11.3 (0.96) 21.4 (1.06) 27.9 (1.08) 23.6 (0.95) 10.0 (0.62) 1.8 (0.24)
Greece 473 (3.2) 7.2 (0.86) 16.9 (0.88) 28.9 (1.19) 29.4 (1.01) 14.2 (0.83) 3.2 (0.33) 0.2 (0.09)
                               
Hungary 504 (2.7) 2.7 (0.33) 12.3 (0.83) 26.0 (1.15) 31.1 (1.07) 21.0 (0.87) 6.2 (0.57) 0.6 (0.16)
Iceland 491 (1.6) 5.8 (0.50) 14.7 (0.84) 25.9 (0.71) 28.3 (0.92) 19.0 (0.74) 5.6 (0.49) 0.7 (0.18)
Ireland 508 (3.2) 3.5 (0.47) 12.0 (0.82) 24.0 (0.91) 29.7 (0.98) 21.4 (0.87) 8.3 (0.62) 1.1 (0.19)
Italy 475 (2.0) 7.3 (0.46) 18.0 (0.62) 27.6 (0.78) 27.4 (0.61) 15.1 (0.58) 4.2 (0.31) 0.4 (0.09)
Japan 531 (3.4) 3.2 (0.45) 8.9 (0.73) 18.5 (0.86) 27.5 (0.85) 27.0 (1.14) 12.4 (0.63) 2.6 (0.33)
                               
Korea, Republic of 522 (3.4) 2.5 (0.49) 8.7 (0.77) 21.2 (1.05) 31.8 (1.17) 25.5 (0.91) 9.2 (0.83) 1.1 (0.29)
Luxembourg 486 (1.1) 6.5 (0.39) 15.6 (0.65) 25.4 (0.66) 28.6 (0.93) 18.1 (0.71) 5.4 (0.34) 0.5 (0.11)
Mexico 410 (2.7) 18.2 (1.22) 32.8 (0.89) 30.8 (0.95) 14.8 (0.66) 3.2 (0.34) 0.3 (0.09) # (†)
Netherlands 525 (2.7) 2.3 (0.38) 10.7 (0.88) 21.1 (0.98) 26.9 (0.87) 25.8 (1.04) 11.5 (0.81) 1.7 (0.24)
New Zealand 530 (2.7) 4.0 (0.43) 9.7 (0.58) 19.7 (0.80) 25.1 (0.71) 23.9 (0.81) 13.6 (0.74) 4.0 (0.37)
                               
Norway 487 (3.1) 5.9 (0.84) 15.2 (0.84) 27.3 (0.79) 28.5 (0.99) 17.1 (0.72) 5.5 (0.44) 0.6 (0.13)
Poland 498 (2.3) 3.2 (0.36) 13.8 (0.63) 27.5 (0.94) 29.4 (1.02) 19.3 (0.80) 6.1 (0.44) 0.7 (0.14)
Portugal 474 (3.0) 5.8 (0.76) 18.7 (1.05) 28.8 (0.92) 28.8 (1.22) 14.7 (0.88) 3.0 (0.35) 0.1 (0.05)
Slovak Republic 488 (2.6) 5.2 (0.60) 15.0 (0.87) 28.0 (0.96) 28.1 (0.99) 17.9 (1.02) 5.2 (0.49) 0.6 (0.14)
Spain 488 (2.6) 4.7 (0.44) 14.9 (0.69) 27.4 (0.77) 30.2 (0.68) 17.9 (0.75) 4.5 (0.38) 0.3 (0.10)
                               
Sweden 503 (2.4) 3.8 (0.44) 12.6 (0.64) 25.2 (0.88) 29.5 (0.90) 21.1 (0.90) 6.8 (0.47) 1.1 (0.21)
Switzerland 512 (3.2) 4.5 (0.52) 11.6 (0.56) 21.8 (0.87) 28.2 (0.81) 23.5 (1.07) 9.1 (0.78) 1.4 (0.27)
Turkey 424 (3.8) 12.9 (0.83) 33.7 (1.31) 31.3 (1.42) 15.1 (1.06) 6.2 (1.15) 0.9 (0.32) # (†)
United Kingdom 515 (2.3) 4.8 (0.49) 11.9 (0.61) 21.8 (0.71) 25.9 (0.68) 21.8 (0.62) 10.9 (0.53) 2.9 (0.31)
United States4  489 (4.2) 7.6 (0.94) 16.8 (0.88) 24.2 (0.94) 24.0 (0.79) 18.3 (0.97) 7.5 (0.62) 1.5 (0.25)
Reporting partner economies                                
Argentina 391 (6.1) 28.3 (2.34) 27.9 (1.39) 25.6 (1.27) 13.6 (1.29) 4.1 (0.63) 0.4 (0.14) # (†)
Azerbaijan 382 (2.8) 19.4 (1.50) 53.1 (1.57) 22.4 (1.41) 4.7 (0.86) 0.4 (0.15) # (†) # (†)
Brazil 390 (2.8) 27.9 (0.99) 33.1 (0.96) 23.8 (0.93) 11.3 (0.88) 3.4 (0.42) 0.5 (0.21) # (†)
Bulgaria 434 (6.1) 18.3 (1.72) 24.3 (1.32) 25.2 (1.23) 18.8 (1.14) 10.3 (1.13) 2.6 (0.51) 0.4 (0.18)
Chile 438 (4.3) 13.1 (1.12) 26.7 (1.54) 29.9 (1.18) 20.1 (1.44) 8.4 (1.01) 1.8 (0.32) 0.1 (0.06)
                               
Colombia 388 (3.4) 26.2 (1.71) 34.0 (1.55) 27.2 (1.53) 10.6 (1.04) 1.9 (0.35) 0.2 (0.05) # (†)
Croatia 493 (2.4) 3.0 (0.43) 14.0 (0.71) 29.3 (0.91) 31.0 (0.99) 17.7 (0.86) 4.6 (0.44) 0.5 (0.12)
Estonia 531 (2.5) 1.0 (0.23) 6.7 (0.57) 21.0 (0.88) 33.7 (0.96) 26.2 (0.94) 10.1 (0.71) 1.4 (0.27)
Hong Kong-China 542 (2.5) 1.7 (0.36) 7.0 (0.68) 16.9 (0.81) 28.7 (0.95) 29.7 (0.95) 13.9 (0.80) 2.1 (0.30)
Indonesia 393 (5.7) 20.3 (1.71) 41.3 (2.23) 27.5 (1.46) 9.5 (1.99) 1.4 (0.53) # (†) # (†)
                               
Israel 454 (3.7) 14.9 (1.18) 21.2 (1.01) 24.0 (0.95) 20.8 (0.96) 13.8 (0.80) 4.4 (0.49) 0.8 (0.18)
Jordan 422 (2.8) 16.2 (0.86) 28.2 (0.86) 30.8 (0.83) 18.7 (0.81) 5.6 (0.66) 0.6 (0.20) # (†)
Kyrgyzstan 322 (2.9) 58.2 (1.56) 28.2 (1.13) 10.0 (0.81) 2.9 (0.39) 0.7 (0.18) # (†) # (†)
Latvia 490 (3.0) 3.6 (0.49) 13.8 (0.98) 29.0 (1.19) 32.9 (0.95) 16.6 (0.96) 3.8 (0.39) 0.3 (0.09)
Liechtenstein 522 (4.1) 2.6 (0.99) 10.3 (2.11) 21.0 (2.84) 28.7 (2.58) 25.2 (2.54) 10.0 (1.77) 2.2 (0.84)
                               
Lithuania 488 (2.8) 4.3 (0.44) 16.0 (0.83) 27.4 (0.91) 29.8 (0.85) 17.5 (0.85) 4.5 (0.60) 0.4 (0.15)
Macao-China 511 (1.1) 1.4 (0.24) 8.9 (0.50) 26.0 (0.97) 35.7 (1.14) 22.8 (0.73) 5.0 (0.34) 0.3 (0.09)
Montenegro 412 (1.1) 17.3 (0.79) 33.0 (1.20) 31.0 (0.91) 14.9 (0.65) 3.6 (0.37) 0.3 (0.11) # (†)
Qatar 349 (0.9) 47.6 (0.62) 31.5 (0.63) 13.9 (0.49) 5.0 (0.35) 1.6 (0.14) 0.3 (0.09) # (†)
Romania 418 (4.2) 16.0 (1.53) 30.9 (1.55) 31.8 (1.62) 16.6 (1.24) 4.2 (0.77) 0.5 (0.14) # (†)
                               
Russian Federation 479 (3.7) 5.2 (0.65) 17.0 (1.08) 30.2 (0.93) 28.3 (1.32) 15.1 (1.09) 3.7 (0.46) 0.5 (0.13)
Serbia 436 (3.0) 11.9 (0.91) 26.6 (1.18) 32.3 (1.26) 21.8 (1.18) 6.6 (0.57) 0.8 (0.18) # (†)
Slovenia 519 (1.1) 2.8 (0.34) 11.1 (0.72) 23.1 (0.68) 27.6 (1.08) 22.5 (1.13) 10.7 (0.57) 2.2 (0.29)
Chinese Taipei 532 (3.6) 1.9 (0.29) 9.7 (0.82) 18.6 (0.86) 27.3 (0.80) 27.9 (1.03) 12.9 (0.77) 1.7 (0.24)
Thailand 421 (2.1) 12.6 (0.80) 33.5 (1.03) 33.2 (0.88) 16.3 (0.80) 4.0 (0.42) 0.4 (0.12) # (†)
                               
Tunisia 386 (3.0) 27.7 (1.12) 35.1 (0.94) 25.0 (0.97) 10.2 (0.98) 1.9 (0.45) 0.1 (0.06) # (†)
Uruguay 428 (2.7) 16.7 (1.25) 25.4 (1.09) 29.8 (1.50) 19.7 (1.07) 6.9 (0.54) 1.3 (0.21) 0.1 (0.07)
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
1 Level 1: Able to present scientific explanations that are obvious and that follow explicitly from given evidence. Level 2: Able to provide possible explanations in familiar contexts, draw conclusions based on simple investigations, and make literal interpretations of the results of scientific inquiry or technological problem solving. Level 3: Able to select facts to explain phenomena and apply simple models or inquiry strategies, develop short state­ments using facts, and make decisions based on scientific knowledge. Level 4: Able to select and integrate explanations from different disciplines of science or technology, link those explanations directly to aspects of life situations, and communicate decisions using scientific knowledge and evidence. Level 5: Able to apply scientific concepts and knowl­edge to many complex life situations, select and evaluate appropriate scientific evidence, bring critical insights to situations, and construct explanations based on evidence and argu­ments based on critical analysis. Level 6: Able to consistently explain and apply scientific knowledge in a variety of complex life situations, use evidence from different sources to jus­tify decisions, clearly and consistently demonstrate advanced scientific thinking and rea­soning, and develop arguments in support of recommendations and decisions that center on personal, social, or global situations.
2 Illustrates how a country compares with the OECD area as a whole. Computed by taking the OECD countries as a single entity to which each country contributes in proportion to the number of 15-year-olds enrolled in its schools.
3 Refers to the mean of the data values for all OECD countries, to which each country con­tributes equally, regardless of the absolute size of the student population of each country.
4 As a result of a printing error, the mean performance in science may be misestimated by approximately 1 score point. The impact is below one standard error.
NOTE: Possible scores range from 0 to 1,000. Standard errors appear in parentheses. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2006, PISA 2006 Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World. (This table was prepared July 2008.)

2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest