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International Comparisons in Fourth-Grade Reading Literacy Banner

PIRLS 2001

In 2001, 35 education systems assessed the reading literacy of their students in the upper of the two grades with the most 9-year-olds (fourth grade in most countries, including the United States) as part of PIRLS 2001. PIRLS 2001 provides comparative information on the reading literacy of these fourth-graders and also examines factors that may be associated with the acquisition of reading literacy in young children.

As the sponsor for PIRLS 2001 in the United States, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is reporting findings from the study that compare the United States with other countries and that take a closer look at performance within the United States. The full report on the international study is available at Also available at this site is the PIRLS Technical Report, which examines specific technical issues related to the assessment. Supporting data for the tables and analyses in this report are available at