Adult Education Attainment and Assessment Scores: A Cross-National Comparison

Saida Mamedova, AIR
Dinah Sparks and Kathleen Mulvaney Hoyer, Activate Research, Inc.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conducted the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a multi-domain adult skills assessment with an extensive background questionnaire, in 2012. PIAAC is a global effort to understand how individuals’ education, workplace experiences, and other background factors relate to cognitive skills in the domains of literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

This Statistics in Brief builds upon the findings in an earlier National Center for Education Statistics report to provide additional cross-national comparisons of adult literacy and numeracy proficiencies by education attainment. Specifically, the brief highlights differences between several countries in the average literacy and numeracy scores for adults at different levels of education attainment. The brief further compares gaps in literacy and numeracy scores between adults of higher and lower education attainment across participating countries