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Study Description

ALL consisted of two components:

  • A background questionnaire designed to collect general participant information (such as sex, age, race/ethnicity, education level, and labor force status) and more targeted questions related to literacy practices, familiarity with information and communication technology, education coursetaking, and health.
  • A written assessment of the skills of participants in literacy and numeracy.

Trained interviewers administered approximately 45 minutes of background questions and 60 minutes of assessment items to participants in their homes. Sample items can be found online with this Issue Brief and at In the United States, a nationally representative sample of 3,420 adults ages 16–65 participated in ALL. Data collection for the United States took place between January and June 2003.

Data in this Issue Brief are shown at the national level for six countries: Bermuda, Canada, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States. Subnational estimates (for French- and English- speaking Canada, for instance) and estimates for the participating state of Nuevo León in Mexico are available in Statistics Canada and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2005).