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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCES 2022005 International Comparisons of Adult Literacy and Numeracy Skills Over Time, NCES 2022-005
This Data Point summarizes trends in adult literacy and numeracy skills since the 1990s for countries that participated in all three international adult literacy studies over the past three decades: Canada, Hungary, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States. These studies are the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), conducted in 1994-98; the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL), conducted in 2003-08; and the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), conducted in 2012-17.
12/10/2021
NCES 2020025 Adult Numeracy in the United States
This Data Point summarizes what data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) show about adult numeracy in the United States. PIAAC is a large-scale study of working-age adults (ages 16–65) in 37 participating countries.
9/1/2020
NCES 2020047 U.S. PIAAC Skills Map: State and County Indicators of Adult Literacy and Numeracy
The U.S. PIAAC Skills Map allows users to access estimates of adult literacy and numeracy proficiency in all U.S. states and counties through heat maps and summary card displays. It also provides estimates of the precision of its indicators and facilitates statistical comparisons among states and counties. The users guide explains reporting practices and statistical methods that are needed to accurately use these state and county estimates and it provides examples of common uses.
4/14/2020
NCES 2020225 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC): State and County Estimation Methodology Report
This report describes the statistical methodology used to produce estimates of average scores and high, middle, and low proficiency levels of adult skills for every state and county in the United States.
4/9/2020
NCES 2020032 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) U.S. Combined 2012/14/17 Sample Restricted Use File (RUF)
The PIAAC U.S. 2012/2014/2017 Restricted Use File (RUF) consists of data from the PIAAC combined 2012/2014/2017 household sample. It contains data for individuals including responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment. Statistical confidentiality treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. The RUF can be accessed through a restricted use license agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details on the data, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC technical report. (NCES 2020-224).
12/13/2019
NCES 2020127 PIAAC International Highlights Web Report
Using the data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), this web-based highlights report sets the performance of U.S. adults within the context of the international average among the 32 countries that participated between 2012 and 2015. In addition, U.S. results are compared to results from selected higher performing countries. PIAAC is a large-scale international study of working-age adults (ages 16–65) that assesses adult skills in three domains (literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving) and collects information on adults’ education, work experience, and other background characteristics.

This web-based highlights report provides overall results for all three PIAAC domains, as well as results for the following key variables: educational attainment, current employment status, nativity, and self-reported health status.
11/20/2019
NCES 2020223 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) U.S. 2017 Sample Restricted-Use File (RUF)
The PIAAC U.S. 2017 Restricted-use File (RUF) consists of data from the PIAAC 2017 household sample. It contains data for individuals including responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment. Statistical confidentiality treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. In addition to the variables in the public use file, the RUF contains detailed versions of variables and additional data collected through U.S. specific questionnaire routing. The RUF can be accessed through a restricted-use license agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details on the data, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC technical report. (NCES 2019-224).
11/20/2019
NCES 2020224 U.S. Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014/2017: Main Study, National Supplement, and PIAAC 2017 Technical Report
The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a large-scale international study of working-age adults (ages 16–65) that assesses adult skills in three domains (literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving) and collects information on adults’ education, work experience, and other background characteristics.

Three data collection efforts are described in this web-based technical report: the U.S. PIAAC 2012 Main Study (5,000 respondents), the U.S. PIAAC 2014 National Supplement (3,660 respondents), and the PIAAC 2017 (3,600 respondents).

The technical report is designed to provide researchers with an overview of the design and implementation of PIAAC in the United States. The report includes detailed information on sample design, survey instruments, the data collection procedures, data quality, weighting, scaling, and data analysis. In addition, a user guide is included that provides information to help support analysis of the data.
11/20/2019
NCES 2020777 Highlights of the 2017 U.S. PIAAC Results Web Report
Using the data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), this web report highlights results for U.S. adults from the most recent 2017 data collection in comparison with the combined 2012/14 data collection. PIAAC is a large-scale international study of working-age adults (ages 16–65) that assesses adult skills in three domains (literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving) and collects information on adults’ education, work experience, and other background characteristics.

This web report provides overall results for all three PIAAC domains, as well as results for the following key variables: gender, age, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, current employment status, nativity, and self-reported health status. Changes in demographics as well as changes in performance within each of the variables between 2012/14 and 17 are discussed.
11/15/2019
NCES 2019179 Adult Literacy in the United States

Using the data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), this Data Point summarizes the number of U.S. adults with low levels of English literacy and describes how they differ by nativity status and race/ethnicity.

PIAAC is a large-scale international study of working-age adults (ages 16–65) that assesses adult skills in three domains (literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving) and collects information on adults' education, work experience, and other background characteristics. In the United States, when the study was conducted in 2011–12 and 2013–14, respondents were first asked questions about their background, with an option to be interviewed in English or Spanish, followed by a skills assessment in English. Because the skills assessment was conducted only in English, all U.S. PIAAC literacy results are for English literacy.

This Data Point focuses on the following two questions:

  • What are the rates of literacy in the United States?
  • What is the make-up of adults with low English literacy skills by nativity status and race/ethnicity?
7/2/2019
NCES 2018122 Analyzing U.S. Young Adults' Skills by Student and Employment Status: Methodology for a New PIAAC Variable with Initial Results
The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a cyclical, large-scale study of adult cognitive skills and life experiences. The study focuses on cognitive skills in three domains: literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments. The purpose of this report is to provide researchers a simple and efficient way of investigating policy issues related to young adults (age 16-34) and their transition into the labor force using PIAAC data. In particular, the report introduces a student-and-employment status variable, explains how this variable was developed, and illustrates the use of the variable, reporting skills by student and employment status. The initial PIAAC 2012/2014 First Look report was released in 2016.
6/19/2018
NCES 2018007 Adult Education Attainment and Assessment Scores: A Cross-National Comparison
This Statistics in Brief builds upon the findings in an earlier NCES report to provide additional cross-national comparisons of adult literacy and numeracy proficiencies by education attainment based on the 2011-12 PIAAC.
9/19/2017
NCES 2016668REV Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: U.S. National Supplement Restricted Use Data Files-Household
The PIAAC 2012/14 U.S. RUF contains individual unit record data including both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment from both the first and second U.S. PIAAC data collections, completed in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Statistical disclosure control treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. In addition to the variables in the PUF (NCES 2014-667REV), the RUF contains detailed versions of variables and additional data collected through U.S. specific questionnaire routing. The RUF can be accessed through a restricted use license agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details on the RUF, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC Technical Report (NCES 2016-036REV).
9/15/2016
NCES 2016036REV U.S. Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: Main Study and National Supplement Technical Report
U.S. Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: Main Study and National Supplement Technical Report (NCES-2016-036REV) is a technical manual that describes how the data were collected and processed as well as how to use the data files to conduct statistical analyses. Information is presented on meeting PIAAC consortium requirements, sample design, listing materials and procedures, data collection, reducing the risk of data disclosure, the need for conducting a nonresponse bias analysis, weighting and variance estimation, data preparation and processing, as well as data quality, IRT analyses, and population modeling. The appendices of the Technical Report include basic analysis tables, extended analysis tables; PIAAC 2012/2014 weighted item response rates, NRBA technical notes, and data user guidance.
9/15/2016
NCES 2016144 The Condition of Education 2016
NCES has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. The Condition of Education 2016 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2016 report presents 43 key indicators on the status and condition of education and are grouped under four main areas: (1) population characteristics, (2) participation in education, (3) elementary and secondary education, and (4) postsecondary education. Also included in the report are 3 Spotlight indicators that provide a more in-depth look at some of the data.
5/26/2016
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