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4228.0 - Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/10/2013   
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MEDIA RELEASE
9 October 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am Canberra Time
175/2013

Young women lag behind young men on numeracy skills, but perform well on literacy

Young women have lower numeracy skills than young men, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

However, ABS Director Myles Burleigh said that when it comes to literacy skills, young women were doing just as well as young men.

"The survey measured participants skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments and assigns them to a number of different levels.

"The higher the level, the better your skills, so Level 2 represents higher skill levels than Level 1, and so on. Level 3 or above for literacy and numeracy represents relatively advanced skills.

"For numeracy, 45 per cent of young men aged 15 to 19 ranked at Level 3 or above, compared with 39 per cent of young women.

"However, for literacy, 56 per cent of young women and 53 per cent of young men ranked at Level 3 or above."

Mr Burleigh said that the survey also found that Australians with a non-school qualification are much more likely to have high levels of literacy and numeracy than those without a qualification.

"Amongst people with a non-school qualification, 62 per cent were assessed as having literacy skills at Level 3 or above, compared with 44 per cent of those without a qualification.

"For numeracy, 52 per cent of those with a non-school qualification were ranked at Level 3 or above, compared with 34 per cent of those without a qualification."

The survey was undertaken as part of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which was conducted in 24 countries around the world, co-ordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Further information can be found in Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (cat. no. 4228.0), available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au.

For international comparisons, see the OECD website www.oecd.org .


Media note
When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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