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PIRLS and ePIRLS Results


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Table 1. PIRLS overall reading average scale scores of fourth-grade students, by education system: 2016
Education system Overall average scale score ↑↓ s.e.
PIRLS scale centerpoint1 500 0.0
Russian Federation 581 2.2
Singapore2 576 3.2
Hong Kong-CHN3,4 569 2.7
Ireland 567 2.5
Finland 566 1.8
Poland 565 2.1
Northern Ireland-GBR 565 2.2
Norway (5)5 559 2.3
Chinese Taipei-CHN 559 2.0
England-GBR 559 1.9
Latvia3 558 1.7
Sweden 555 | 2.4
Hungary 554 | 2.9
Bulgaria 552 | 4.2
United States4 549 | 3.1
Lithuania 548 | 2.6
Italy 548 | 2.2
Denmark3 547 | 2.1
Macao-CHN 546 | 1.0
Netherlands4 545 | 1.7
Australia 544 | 2.5
Czech Republic 543 | 2.1
Canada3,6 543 | 1.8
Slovenia 542 | 2.0
Austria3 541 2.4
Germany 537 3.2
Kazakhstan 536 2.5
Slovak Republic 535 3.1
Israel2 530 2.5
Portugal3 528 2.3
Spain 528 1.7
Belgium (Flemish)-BEL 525 1.9
New Zealand 523 2.2
France 511 2.2
Belgium (French)-BEL3 497 2.6
Chile 494 2.5
Georgia6 488 2.8
Trinidad and Tobago 479 3.3
Azerbaijan 472 4.2
Malta3 452 1.8
United Arab Emirates 450 3.2
Bahrain 446 2.3
Qatar 442 1.8
Saudi Arabia 430 4.2
Iran, Islamic Republic of 428 4.0
Oman 418 3.3
Kuwait 393 4.1
Morocco 358 3.9
Egypt 330 5.6
South Africa 320 4.4
Benchmarking education systems | | |
Moscow City-RUS 612 2.2
Madrid-ESP3 549 | 2.0
Quebec-CAN7 547 | 2.8
Ontario-CAN 544 | 3.2
Andalusia-ESP 525 2.1
Dubai-UAE 515 1.9
Buenos Aires-ARG 480 3.1
Abu Dhabi-UAE 414 4.7
| Blank cell.
↑ Score is higher than U.S. average score.
↓ Score is lower than U.S. average score.
1 The PIRLS scale centerpoint is set at 500 points and represents the mean of the overall achievement distribution in 2001. The PIRLS scale is the same in each administration; thus a value of 500 in 2016 equals 500 in 2001.
2 National Defined Population covers less than 90 percent of National Target Population (but at least 77 percent).
3 National Defined Population covers 90 percent to 95 percent of National Target Population.
4 Met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included.
5 The number in parentheses indicates the grade level. For PIRLS 2016, Norway revised its assessed population to students in the fifth grade to obtain better comparisons with Sweden and Finland. However, in previous PIRLS cycles Norway assessed students in the fourth grade, which is similar to third grade in many other education systems because grade 1 in Norway is considered the equivalent of a year of kindergarten. To maintain trend with previous PIRLS cycles, in 2016 Norway also collected data from fourth-grade students, which is used in trend tables.
6 National Target Population does not include all of the International Target Population.
7 Did not satisfy guidelines for sample participation rates.
NOTE: Education systems are ordered by overall average scale score. Italics indicate participants identified as a non-national entity that represents a portion of a country. All average scores reported as higher or lower than the U.S. average score are different at the05 level of statistical significance. The tests for significance take into account the standard error for the reported difference. Thus, a small difference between the United States and one education system may be significant, while a large apparent difference between the United States and another education system may not be significant. Education systems that did not administer PIRLS at the target grade are not shown; see the international report for their results. Five education systems participated in PIRLS Literacy (Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Morocco, and South Africa); two of these education systems completed both PIRLS and PIRLS Literacy (Iran and Morocco). More detail on PIRLS Literacy is available at https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls2016/framework.html. Standard error is abbreviated as s.e.
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), 2016.