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Data Files

International Data Explorer You can explore the PIAAC data directly through NCES's online data tool — the International Data Explorer (IDE)

The PIAAC 2012 data are found in an international database and a U.S. national database. The international database contains all information collected through the international PIAAC instruments. The national database contains additional variables that are unique to the United States, such as respondents’ race and ethnicity. Both the international and national databases come with documentation and example programs for reading in data and conducting analyses. These resources are listed below.

U.S. Data Files and Data Resources
The U.S. national PIAAC database can be found under the "PIAAC Publications & Products" section of the NCES PIAAC website. The U.S. databases include all U.S. data, both international and U.S.-only variables. Resources available include:

U.S. PIAAC database (in SPSS and SAS formats)
U.S. Code book and background compendium
U.S. PIAAC national report
U.S. National technical report
Background questionnaire
Cognitive assessments
Sample items

For data that was suppressed in the public-use dataset due to confidentiality concerns for respondents, a U.S. restricted-use database is also available. Restricted-use databases contain more detailed information, such as continuous age and earnings variables. To access the restricted-use data, the restricted-use license has to be applied for and obtained from NCES. More information on the process is available at:

International Data Files and Data Resources
The international PIAAC database can be found under the "Public data and analysis" section of the international OECD PIAAC website. Resources available include:

PIAAC international database (in SPSS and SAS formats)
SAS macros and data analysis manual
STATA macros and data analysis manual
International codebook and data compendia
International technical report

The PIAAC data can be analyzed in SPSS using a stand-alone program known as the International Database Analyzer (IDB). The IDB Analyzer is available at

Note to users: The OECD has identified an error in the derivation of the following variables in the PIAAC data files: NFE12JR, NFE12NJR, FNFE12JR, FNFAET12JR and FNFAET12NJR. NCES released revised U.S. public-use and restricted-use files, the background compendia, and the codebook on August 18, 2015. IDE (International Data Explorer) has been updated on March 27, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact: