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

Edria Murray, Staff Editor

Author: Edria Murray, 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 Portugal 80.1% 1998
2 Poland 76.1% 1998
3 Hungary 67.1% 1998
4 Ireland 57% 1998
5 New Zealand 50.6% 1998
6 United Kingdom 50.4% 1998
7 United States 49.6% 1998
8 Switzerland 47.2% 1998
9 Australia 44.8% 1998
10 Canada 42.9% 1998
11 Czech Republic 42.3% 1998
12 Germany 41.7% 1998
13 Finland 36.8% 1998
14 Netherlands 35.9% 1998
15 Denmark 32% 1998
16 Norway 29.7% 1998
17 Sweden 25.1% 1998

Citation

"Countries Compared by Education > Literacy > Adults at low literacy level. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", 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

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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, Staff Editor

Edria Murray, Staff Editor

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