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Digest of Education Statistics
2015 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 604.20. Percentage distribution of 25- to 65-year-olds, by literacy proficiency level, numeracy proficiency level, selected levels of educational attainment, and country or other education system: 2012
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Country or other education system1 Total population of 25- to 65-year-olds Highest level of educational attainment2
High school completion Bachelor's or higher degree
At or below level 1 At level 2 At level 3 At level 4 or level 5 At or below level 1 At level 2 At level 3 At level 4 or level 5 At or below level 1 At level 2 At level 3 At level 4 or level 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
  Percentage distribution, by literacy proficiency level
OECD average3 16.6 (0.15) 34.0 (0.21) 37.6 (0.21) 11.8 (0.13) 15.1 (0.23) 39.7 (0.34) 38.0 (0.33) 7.2   (0.18) 4.0   (0.16) 18.7 (0.35) 49.5 (0.45) 27.8 (0.40)
                                                     
Austria 16.3 (0.70) 39.0 (1.06) 36.7 (1.04) 8.0 (0.47) 14.3 (0.86) 41.9 (1.38) 37.9 (1.40) 5.9   (0.60) 2.5 ! (0.79) 16.8 (1.99) 52.9 (2.47) 27.8 (2.03)
Canada 17.3 (0.47) 31.9 (0.70) 36.7 (0.74) 14.2 (0.55) 18.2 (0.85) 39.0 (1.05) 35.4 (1.13) 7.5   (0.80) 5.9   (0.49) 21.3 (0.88) 44.1 (1.20) 28.7 (1.20)
Czech Republic 12.5 (0.87) 38.5 (1.87) 40.9 (1.76) 8.1 (0.77) 12.4 (1.11) 43.4 (2.34) 39.5 (1.97) 4.8   (0.73) 1.9 ! (0.89) 17.1 (3.16) 57.2 (3.80) 23.8 (3.21)
Denmark 16.7 (0.58) 33.9 (0.83) 39.4 (0.81) 10.0 (0.57) 16.6 (1.01) 41.7 (1.48) 36.3 (1.46) 5.4   (0.64) 5.8   (0.69) 17.0 (1.20) 51.9 (1.86) 25.2 (1.87)
England (UK) 16.1 (0.77) 32.8 (0.97) 36.7 (1.01) 14.4 (0.89) 14.4 (1.36) 35.4 (1.81) 39.2 (1.58) 11.0   (1.07) 5.5   (1.06) 18.1 (1.55) 46.2 (2.37) 30.1 (2.26)
                                                     
Estonia 14.3 (0.62) 35.5 (0.68) 39.3 (0.93) 10.9 (0.67) 16.0 (0.95) 40.4 (1.11) 37.2 (1.07) 6.5   (0.65) 4.4   (0.70) 22.8 (1.42) 48.4 (1.94) 24.5 (1.65)
Finland 11.6 (0.57) 27.5 (0.90) 39.2 (0.92) 21.7 (0.61) 13.3 (0.99) 33.8 (1.65) 39.6 (1.55) 13.2   (1.03) 2.9   (0.66) 11.0 (1.23) 39.7 (2.01) 46.4 (1.74)
Flanders (Belgium) 15.8 (0.66) 32.0 (0.96) 39.4 (1.06) 12.8 (0.65) 16.7 (1.13) 41.7 (1.53) 35.9 (1.76) 5.7   (0.68) 2.1 ! (0.65) 10.3 (1.62) 51.1 (2.84) 36.5 (2.44)
France 23.6 (0.55) 36.6 (0.77) 32.5 (0.69) 7.3 (0.39) 20.4 (0.95) 45.2 (1.08) 31.1 (0.96) 3.4   (0.44) 5.1   (0.71) 20.2 (1.40) 52.2 (1.56) 22.5 (1.51)
Germany 18.7 (0.86) 35.3 (1.12) 35.9 (1.00) 10.2 (0.64) 19.9 (1.13) 41.6 (1.55) 32.8 (1.33) 5.7   (0.73) 4.2   (0.90) 19.1 (1.66) 50.6 (1.84) 26.2 (1.80)
                                                     
Ireland 18.5 (0.87) 37.2 (0.91) 35.6 (0.89) 8.8 (0.62) 14.7 (1.18) 42.3 (1.62) 37.6 (1.78) 5.3   (0.90) 3.0   (0.71) 20.7 (1.64) 52.2 (1.96) 24.2 (1.87)
Italy 29.2 (1.18) 42.5 (1.01) 25.1 (1.01) 3.2 (0.34) 16.6 (1.30) 44.6 (1.55) 34.9 (1.77) 3.9   (0.73) 9.2   (1.27) 30.9 (2.28) 48.2 (2.63) 11.7 (1.72)
Japan 5.3 (0.43) 23.4 (0.90) 48.4 (1.06) 22.9 (0.75) 5.8 (0.78) 30.1 (1.42) 51.1 (1.45) 13.0   (1.03) 1.1 ! (0.35) 8.2 (0.96) 46.2 (2.06) 44.5 (1.93)
Korea, Republic of 14.9 (0.60) 39.6 (0.92) 38.5 (0.96) 6.9 (0.43) 13.0 (0.92) 48.0 (1.67) 35.4 (1.74) 3.6   (0.50) 2.1   (0.56) 22.8 (1.48) 57.6 (1.66) 17.5 (1.30)
Netherlands 13.4 (0.56) 27.5 (0.82) 41.1 (0.84) 18.0 (0.74) 8.9 (0.96) 30.9 (1.47) 46.5 (1.56) 13.8   (1.04) 2.7   (0.59) 12.7 (1.09) 47.5 (1.52) 37.0 (1.56)
                                                     
Northern Ireland (UK) 18.4 (1.29) 37.0 (1.71) 34.7 (1.76) 9.9 (0.78) 13.8 (1.97) 41.1 (2.91) 37.6 (3.61) 7.5   (1.21) 3.2 ! (0.99) 17.8 (2.14) 51.6 (2.26) 27.5 (2.55)
Norway 12.5 (0.67) 30.1 (0.90) 42.6 (0.86) 14.9 (0.67) 13.1 (1.26) 37.7 (1.62) 41.5 (1.47) 7.7   (0.95) 4.5   (0.57) 16.3 (1.09) 50.1 (1.44) 29.0 (1.26)
Poland 20.7 (0.73) 37.5 (1.09) 32.7 (1.05) 9.0 (0.60) 24.0 (1.08) 43.6 (1.39) 28.6 (1.15) 3.8   (0.53) 4.4   (0.77) 24.5 (1.53) 48.1 (2.05) 23.0 (1.68)
Slovak Republic 11.9 (0.69) 36.7 (1.18) 44.0 (1.02) 7.4 (0.53) 8.7 (0.68) 39.2 (1.53) 46.1 (1.48) 6.0   (0.60) 2.7 ! (0.84) 23.3 (2.01) 57.4 (2.04) 16.6 (1.85)
Spain 29.2 (0.84) 39.1 (0.84) 27.0 (0.76) 4.8 (0.43) 21.0 (1.42) 46.1 (1.96) 29.5 (1.81) 3.5   (0.82) 5.8   (0.90) 29.3 (1.76) 50.1 (2.15) 14.8 (1.40)
                                                     
Sweden 14.1 (0.71) 29.0 (1.13) 40.5 (0.99) 16.4 (0.62) 11.7 (0.96) 32.9 (1.71) 44.9 (1.83) 10.5   (0.90) 4.9   (0.64) 13.2 (1.35) 44.5 (1.78) 37.4 (1.90)
United States 19.2 (0.88) 32.8 (1.15) 35.5 (1.08) 12.5 (0.79) 22.0 (1.32) 41.7 (1.83) 30.8 (1.38) 5.5   (0.79) 3.7   (0.68) 18.9 (1.28) 49.6 (1.79) 27.8 (2.02)
                                                     
Non-OECD
      education systems
                                                   
Cyprus4 14.4 (0.73) 39.7 (1.31) 38.7 (1.18) 7.1 (0.53) 14.5 (1.20) 43.1 (2.24) 37.5 (2.17) 4.8   (0.79) 4.6   (0.94) 29.9 (2.42) 49.3 (2.27) 16.2 (1.45)
Russian Federation5 12.9 (1.63) 34.7 (1.92) 41.5 (2.17) 10.9 (1.93) 15.0 (2.46) 35.8 (2.59) 39.9 (3.68) 9.4 ! (2.87) 9.8   (1.85) 31.2 (3.01) 45.3 (3.29) 13.7 (2.60)
  Percentage distribution, by numeracy proficiency level
OECD average3 19.8 (0.16) 33.1 (0.20) 34.3 (0.20) 12.8 (0.14) 18.4 (0.25) 38.8 (0.33) 34.6 (0.33) 8.2   (0.19) 5.0   (0.18) 19.6 (0.35) 45.3 (0.45) 30.1 (0.40)
                                                     
Austria 15.0 (0.72) 34.2 (0.96) 37.0 (1.05) 13.8 (0.66) 11.7 (0.90) 37.1 (1.27) 39.6 (1.41) 11.5   (0.88) 2.5 ! (0.94) 12.9 (1.90) 44.6 (2.56) 40.0 (2.33)
Canada 23.3 (0.57) 31.8 (0.65) 32.2 (0.76) 12.7 (0.50) 26.8 (1.21) 38.0 (1.25) 29.2 (1.17) 6.0   (0.58) 8.3   (0.67) 23.5 (1.12) 42.0 (1.58) 26.2 (1.23)
Czech Republic 13.2 (0.87) 35.4 (1.31) 39.9 (1.24) 11.5 (0.81) 12.7 (1.02) 40.1 (1.72) 40.7 (1.76) 6.6   (0.84) 1.1 ! (0.44) 13.5 (2.52) 50.0 (3.70) 35.4 (3.22)
Denmark 14.3 (0.58) 29.7 (0.78) 38.3 (0.82) 17.7 (0.56) 12.8 (1.07) 35.4 (1.41) 39.8 (1.37) 12.0   (0.95) 5.5   (0.64) 14.0 (1.36) 41.9 (1.70) 38.7 (1.91)
England (UK) 24.1 (1.04) 32.8 (1.15) 30.7 (1.08) 12.3 (0.85) 22.4 (1.43) 37.1 (1.79) 31.8 (2.03) 8.8   (1.35) 8.1   (1.61) 23.2 (1.95) 42.1 (2.07) 26.6 (1.92)
                                                     
Estonia 15.0 (0.55) 36.6 (0.71) 37.4 (0.63) 11.0 (0.46) 16.5 (0.95) 42.3 (1.15) 34.6 (1.07) 6.5   (0.60) 4.2   (0.64) 21.4 (1.48) 49.0 (2.02) 25.5 (1.55)
Finland 13.5 (0.58) 29.3 (0.70) 37.5 (0.91) 19.7 (0.66) 16.4 (0.98) 35.7 (1.27) 36.0 (1.39) 11.8   (1.04) 3.3   (0.67) 13.5 (1.38) 41.9 (1.94) 41.3 (1.89)
Flanders (Belgium) 14.7 (0.68) 29.2 (0.83) 37.8 (1.03) 18.3 (0.78) 15.0 (1.04) 37.1 (1.55) 38.0 (1.57) 10.0   (1.06) 1.7 ! (0.63) 8.4 (1.45) 41.4 (2.45) 48.4 (2.52)
France 29.9 (0.69) 33.5 (0.79) 28.3 (0.59) 8.4 (0.37) 26.8 (1.02) 43.0 (1.16) 26.8 (0.99) 3.4   (0.42) 5.9   (0.79) 20.0 (1.13) 48.2 (1.40) 25.9 (1.37)
Germany 19.1 (0.79) 31.5 (0.91) 34.9 (0.90) 14.5 (0.68) 19.7 (1.05) 38.7 (1.30) 33.4 (1.42) 8.1   (0.74) 3.4   (0.88) 15.6 (1.65) 45.5 (1.71) 35.5 (1.86)
                                                     
Ireland 25.8 (0.94) 37.7 (0.96) 28.7 (0.89) 7.8 (0.66) 23.8 (1.57) 43.6 (1.58) 28.1 (1.37) 4.5   (0.72) 5.2   (0.89) 26.8 (1.74) 46.5 (2.31) 21.5 (2.14)
Italy 32.4 (1.13) 39.0 (1.15) 24.1 (1.03) 4.6 (0.37) 17.4 (1.38) 40.7 (1.92) 35.3 (1.81) 6.6   (0.75) 11.8   (1.65) 31.7 (2.32) 42.3 (2.59) 14.2 (1.80)
Japan 8.2 (0.55) 27.7 (0.92) 44.4 (0.94) 19.7 (0.70) 8.6 (1.01) 34.0 (1.56) 46.3 (1.61) 11.0   (1.10) 1.0 ! (0.41) 10.4 (0.99) 45.0 (1.86) 43.5 (1.76)
Korea, Republic of 21.3 (0.64) 40.3 (0.98) 32.1 (0.89) 6.3 (0.52) 20.3 (1.14) 49.4 (1.34) 27.5 (1.40) 2.8   (0.56) 3.3   (0.67) 26.4 (1.65) 53.3 (2.00) 17.0 (1.55)
Netherlands 14.5 (0.60) 28.6 (0.85) 39.3 (1.00) 17.6 (0.72) 10.5 (1.13) 32.4 (1.78) 43.3 (1.93) 13.8   (1.10) 2.8   (0.64) 15.6 (1.14) 46.8 (1.78) 34.9 (1.78)
                                                     
Northern Ireland (UK) 26.0 (1.54) 36.1 (1.36) 29.4 (1.34) 8.5 (0.74) 20.4 (2.01) 42.9 (2.24) 30.9 (2.52) 5.8   (1.19) 4.8   (1.10) 21.5 (2.20) 49.2 (2.74) 24.5 (2.32)
Norway 14.4 (0.62) 28.1 (0.89) 38.3 (0.96) 19.1 (0.73) 15.0 (1.19) 34.8 (1.58) 38.3 (1.46) 11.8   (1.24) 5.4   (0.61) 15.8 (1.07) 44.2 (1.57) 34.5 (1.46)
Poland 24.9 (0.88) 37.5 (1.03) 29.4 (1.10) 8.1 (0.63) 28.2 (1.11) 42.7 (1.52) 25.3 (1.25) 3.9   (0.62) 7.3   (1.00) 28.0 (1.77) 44.7 (2.28) 20.0 (1.63)
Slovak Republic 14.1 (0.65) 32.5 (0.96) 40.8 (1.07) 12.6 (0.72) 9.9 (0.71) 36.0 (1.21) 44.0 (1.32) 10.2   (0.93) 2.0 ! (0.65) 18.1 (1.58) 51.0 (2.49) 28.9 (2.12)
Spain 32.1 (0.72) 39.6 (0.97) 24.2 (0.78) 4.1 (0.37) 22.8 (1.63) 46.9 (2.07) 26.8 (1.88) 3.6   (0.73) 7.0   (0.88) 33.7 (1.85) 47.4 (2.18) 11.9 (1.35)
                                                     
Sweden 15.2 (0.79) 27.9 (1.08) 37.5 (1.02) 19.4 (0.76) 13.1 (1.02) 31.5 (1.70) 40.9 (1.90) 14.5   (1.16) 4.9   (0.68) 14.0 (1.69) 40.8 (1.85) 40.2 (2.00)
United States 29.8 (0.93) 32.9 (1.05) 27.7 (0.90) 9.6 (0.66) 36.4 (1.34) 39.3 (1.69) 20.6 (1.58) 3.7   (0.67) 7.5   (0.73) 24.1 (1.56) 45.9 (1.82) 22.6 (1.82)
                                                     
Non-OECD
      education systems
                                                   
Cyprus4 18.9 (0.81) 38.6 (1.17) 33.9 (1.17) 8.7 (0.62) 17.4 (1.30) 42.1 (1.93) 34.1 (1.99) 6.4   (1.08) 5.6   (0.96) 28.5 (2.07) 46.1 (2.26) 19.9 (1.62)
Russian Federation5 14.4 (1.66) 39.8 (1.95) 38.1 (1.74) 7.7 (1.44) 17.1 (3.00) 41.5 (3.33) 35.5 (3.59) 5.9   (1.74) 8.5   (1.59) 36.7 (2.84) 42.9 (2.56) 11.9 (2.27)
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
1 Most of the education systems represent complete countries, but three of them represent subnational entities: England (which is part of the United Kingdom), Flanders (which is part of Belgium), and Northern Ireland (which is part of the United Kingdom).
2 High school completion includes International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 1997 levels 3 and 4, with the exception of ISCED level 3C short programs. ISCED 3C short programs do not correspond to high school completion in the United States and are not included in the high school completion columns in this table. The data for bachelor’s or higher degree refer to degrees classified as ISCED 1997 level 5A and as level 6.
3 Refers to the mean of the data values for all reporting Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and subnational education systems, to which each country or subnational education system reporting data contributes equally, with the exception of England (UK) and Northern Ireland (UK), which contribute to the mean as a combined entity, England/Northern Ireland (UK).
4 Cyprus includes only the population under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. For the educational attainment data (columns 6 through 13), the item response rate for Cyprus is below 85 percent; missing data have not been explicitly accounted for.
5 The Russian Federation does not include the population of the Moscow municipal region.
NOTE: In this table, scores below level 1 and scores at level 1 are combined into the "at or below level 1" reporting category; scores at level 4 and scores at level 5 are combined into the "at level 4 or level 5" reporting category. For both literacy and numeracy, the proficiency-level reporting categories correspond to the score ranges shown in parentheses: at or below level 1 (0-225.9), at level 2 (226.0-275.9), at level 3 (276.0-325.9), at level 4 or level 5 (326.0-500.0).
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2012. (This table was prepared May 2016.)

2015 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest