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U.S. Data Collections

First Round of PIAAC Data Collection in the United States

Household data

The first round of data collection in the United States (officially known as the U.S. PIAAC Main Study) was conducted from August 2011 through April 2012 with a nationally representative household sample of 5,000 adults between the ages of 16 and 65.

Publications based on the first round of U.S. data collection

  • U.S. PIAAC First Look report presenting U.S. PIAAC 2012 results on a representative sample of U.S. adults ages 16-65, as well as the international average of adults in countries/regions that participated in the PIAAC 2012 assessment.

Second Round of PIAAC Data Collection in the United States

Household data

The second round of U.S. data collection (officially known as the National Supplement to the Main Study) included a household survey, which was conducted from August 2013 through April 2014. It was administered to a sample of 3,660 U.S. adults in households in order to (a) enhance the U.S. PIAAC dataset by oversampling young adults (ages 16-34) and unemployed adults (ages 16-65), and (b) expand the sample to include older adults (ages 66-74). The expanded national sample (total of about 8,700 adults living in the household) supports more accurate and reliable national estimates for these subgroups and, in the case of older adults, estimates for new groups not represented in the first round of PIAAC.

Prison data

The second round also included the U.S. PIAAC Prison Study, which was conducted from February through June 2014 to a sample of 1,300 adult inmates (ages 1674) detained in federal and state prisons in the United States. The direct assessments of literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments administered to adult inmates were the same as those administered to the U.S. PIAAC household participants. However, the household background questionnaire was modified and tailored specifically to address the experiences and needs of this subgroup. For example, the prison background questionnaire included items related to activities in prison, such as participation in academic programs and ESL classes; experiences with prison jobs; and involvement in nonacademic programs, such as employment readiness classes.

Publications based on the second round of U.S. data collection

  • An updated U.S. PIAAC First Look report presenting U.S. PIAAC 2012/2014 data and international averages, including information on the enhanced sample of unemployed and young adults (ages 16-34), as well as the new U.S. sample of older adults (ages 66-74).
  • A report on the U.S. prison population presenting data on U.S. prisoners' skill levels in the three PIAAC performance domains (literacy, numeracy, and problem solving) as well as information on their educational and work-related experiences in prisons. This report is expected to be available in Summer 2016.
  • A report focusing on the skills of U.S. young adults (age 16-34) and key issues facing them. This report is expected to be available in Fall 2016.