Collection: Research Materials
This is a plain-language summary of the last of three reports on the results of the International Adult Literacy Survey or IALS, conducted between 1994 and 1998. The report was published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Statistics Canada in 2000.
In all of the countries surveyed, the older age groups have a significant skills deficit when compared to younger people. However, after controlling for age-related variations in educational attainment, this deficit appears to be much larger in some countries than in others.
Countries vary in how well they succeed in refreshing the stock of literacy skills the population has acquired through education and other means. This suggests that investments in the initial education of youth will not be enough to address the problem of skills deficits for adults, and special measures for improving the skills of adults as they age are also needed.
This summary was prepared as part of a National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) project, funded by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). The goal of the project is to offer researchers and other practitioners a resource for quickly assessing the relevance of online research documents from Statistics Canada.