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Education > Literacy > Adults at low literacy level: Countries Compared

Author: Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

Author: Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

Traditionally literacy statistics have divided adults into two groups, those who can read and those who cannot. This division is misleading as the level of literacy of adults is really a continuum.



In this study, a low level of literacy represents a skill level lower than that required for successful completion of secondary education.



A person with low literacy may be able to read a little, but will have difficulty filling out forms, comparing data, integrating information and following complex or unclear instructions. Low literacy affects a persons\' quality of employment, employment options, training opportunities, financial status, their ability to help their children prepare for school and their ability to access services.

DEFINITION: Percentage of adults whose level of document literacy is rated 'low'. Data for 1998.

CONTENTS

# COUNTRY AMOUNT DATE GRAPH
1 PortugalPortugal 80.1% 1998
2 PolandPoland 76.1% 1998
3 HungaryHungary 67.1% 1998
4 IrelandIreland 57% 1998
5 New ZealandNew Zealand 50.6% 1998
6 United KingdomUnited Kingdom 50.4% 1998
7 United StatesUnited States 49.6% 1998
8 SwitzerlandSwitzerland 47.2% 1998
9 AustraliaAustralia 44.8% 1998
10 CanadaCanada 42.9% 1998
11 Czech RepublicCzech Republic 42.3% 1998
12 GermanyGermany 41.7% 1998
13 FinlandFinland 36.8% 1998
14 NetherlandsNetherlands 35.9% 1998
15 DenmarkDenmark 32% 1998
16 NorwayNorway 29.7% 1998
17 SwedenSweden 25.1% 1998

Citation

"All countries compared for Education > Literacy > Adults at low literacy level", OECD. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Education/Literacy/Adults-at-low-literacy-level

Education > Literacy > Adults at low literacy level: Countries Compared Map

NationMaster

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Traditionally literacy statistics have divided adults into two groups, those who can read and those who cannot. This division is misleading as the level of literacy of adults is really a continuum.



In this study, a low level of literacy represents a skill level lower than that required for successful completion of secondary education.



A person with low literacy may be able to read a little, but will have difficulty filling out forms, comparing data, integrating information and following complex or unclear instructions. Low literacy affects a persons\' quality of employment, employment options, training opportunities, financial status, their ability to help their children prepare for school and their ability to access services.

Posted on 14 Jan 2005

Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

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