The U.S. PIAAC data include four household datasets: for the 2012 data, the combined 2012/2014 data, the 2017 data, and the combined 2012/2014/2017 data. The U.S. PIAAC data also include the PIAAC prison data from 2014. The U.S. PIAAC data contain additional variables that are unique to the United States, such as race/ethnicity and health variables. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provides international data from the three rounds of PIAAC data collection that took place in 2012, 2015, and 2017.
The NCES International Data Explorer (IDE) contains the U.S. PIAAC data (the 2012/2014 and 2017 household data and the 2014 prison data), as well as data from the three rounds of international data collection (2012, 2015, and 2017).
Additional information about the U.S., international, and international and national trend datasets is provided in the following five sections.
The U.S. PIAAC data—the 2012/14, 2017, and combined 2012/14/17 household data and the 2014 prison data—can be analyzed online through the International Data Explorer (IDE) or downloaded for statistical analysis from the links below. All U.S. data files are available for download in SPSS, SAS, or ASCII formats and come with documentation, such as codebooks and background compendia.
|PIAAC U.S. Round||Household Data Collection||Public-Use
|Restricted-Use File (RUF)||Technical Report||Background Questionnaire (BQ)|
|3||2017 U.S. PIAAC Household Study||2017 U.S. PUF||2017 U.S. RUF||U.S. PIAAC 2012/14/17 Technical Report||English | Spanish|
|2||2012/2014 U.S. PIAAC Household Study (National Supplement)||2012/2014 U.S. PUF||2012/2014 U.S. RUF||U.S. PIAAC 2012/2014 Main Study and National Supplement Technical Report||English | Spanish|
|1||2012 U.S. PIAAC Household Study (Main Study)||2012 U.S. PUF||2012 U.S. RUF||U.S. PIAAC 2012 Main Study Technical Report||English | Spanish|
|Combined Household Data Collection||Public-Use File (PUF)||Restricted-Use File (RUF)||Technical Report||Background Questionnaire (BQ)|
|2012/2014/2017 U.S. PIAAC Household Study||Not available||2012/2014/2017 Household RUF||U.S. PIAAC 2012/14/17 Technical Report||Refer to each data collection’s questionnaires|
|Prison Data Collection||Public-Use File (PUF)||Restricted-Use File (RUF)||Technical Report||Background Questionnaire (BQ)|
|2014 U.S. PIAAC Prison Study||2014 Prison PUF||2014 Prison RUF||U.S. PIAAC 2012/2014 Main Study and National Supplement Technical Report||English | Spanish|
Note that some data in the public-use data files are suppressed due to confidentiality concerns for respondents. The unsuppressed data are available in the U.S. restricted-use data files, along with more detailed information, such as continuous age and earnings variables. For more information on the variable suppression and removal, see the Data User Guidance appendix in each technical report. To access the restricted-use data, researchers must apply for and obtain a restricted-use license from NCES. More information on the process is available at Restricted-Use Data Licenses.
Estimates of adults’ literacy and numeracy skills for all U.S. states and counties are accessible through an interactive mapping tool; the U.S. PIAAC Skills Map: State and County Indicators of Adult Literacy and Numeracy. These estimates are displayed through heat maps and summary card displays. The skills map also provides estimates of the precision of its indicators and facilitates statistical comparisons among states and counties. State- and county-level estimates are available for six age groups (16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and 65-74) and four education groups (less than high school, high school diploma or GED, some college - no degree or attained associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree or higher). Additionally, the skills map gives users access to selected demographic variables from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS).
The state and county estimates are based on the combined 2012/2014/2017 PIAAC data and are produced using an advanced statistical method referred to as small area estimation (SAE). Additional resources and information on the skills map and the development of these estimates are available in the U.S. State and County Estimates Resources page and the PIAAC State and County Estimation Methodology Report.
If you have any questions, please contact Holly Xie at email@example.com.
The international PIAAC data files can be found on the PIAAC Data and Tools page of the international OECD PIAAC website. Data files are available for 38 countries/economies1 that participated in PIAAC Cycle I, including Round 1 data from 2012, Round 2 data from 2015, and Round 3 data from 2017.2 The international data files can be downloaded in SAS, SPSS, or CSV formats. Additional resources on the PIAAC Data and Tools page include:
The PIAAC data can be analyzed in SPSS and SAS using a stand-alone program known as the International Database (IDB) Analyzer. Access the IDB Analyzer here.
The restricted-use data files for the 1994 U.S. International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and 2003 U.S. Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL) with rescaled literacy (IALS and ALL) and numeracy (ALL) scores are available on the IALS Data Files and ALL Data Files publication pages, respectively. These files allow for trend analysis with the PIAAC data and include international trend variables with PIAAC. For more information on use of these files, view the blog Rescaled Data Files for Analyses of Trends in Adult Skills.
The U.S. trend data can be downloaded in SPSS format. The IALS and ALL trend data can be analyzed in SPSS and SAS using a stand-alone program known as the International Database (IDB) Analyzer. Codebooks and user guides are available with the data files. The user guides provide information on using the IALS and ALL data files with the IDB Analyzer. Access the IDB Analyzer here.
The restricted-use data files for the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) with rescaled literacy scores for household and prison are available on the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) Data Files publication pages. These files allow for trend analysis with the PIAAC data and include national trend variables for household and prison with PIAAC. For more information on use of these files, view the blog Rescaled Data Files for Analyses of Trends in Adult Skills.
The U.S. trend data can be downloaded in SPSS format. Codebooks and a user guide is available with the data files. The NALS trend data can be analyzed in SPSS and SAS using a stand-alone program known as the International Database (IDB) Analyzer, with some modifications described in the user guide. Access the IDB Analyzer here.
1 The OECD does not provide public-use data files for Australia, Cyprus, and Indonesia.
2 The International U.S. 2012 and 2017 data files are available within the listing of country’s datasets identified with “_2012” and “_2017” in the file names, while the International U.S. 2012/2014 data file is available in the PIAAC Data >> Country Specific PUFs section of the OECD PIAAC page.