Australian Bureau of Statistics
1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Jun 2010
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2010
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The Gender Divide
In the 2006 survey, females were more likely than males to have a literacy level of 3 or above for prose (60% versus 53%), problem solving (33% versus 29%) and health (46% versus 41%) literacy, but males were more likely to have a literacy level of 3 or above for numeracy (53% versus 45%) and document (58% versus 54%) literacy.
To put it simply, males generally outperformed females at maths (and perhaps even some spatially-oriented tasks such as map reading) while females demonstrated stronger language skills (just to support those well-known stereotypes!).
Education and Work
As expected, the 2006 survey showed that literacy levels generally increased as levels of education increased. Of those Western Australians who had completed 16 or more years of formal education, 83% had an assessed skill level of 3 or above on the prose literacy scale compared with 62% of those with 11 to 15 years of formal education and 31% with 10 years or less.
Literacy levels across all domains were also associated with labour force status. Of those in the employed labour force (full-time or part-time), 62% had prose literacy scores of level 3 or above, compared with only 40% of those not employed (unemployed or not in the labour force).
Consequently, a higher median income was found among those with higher literacy. In terms of prose literacy, Western Australians with a score at level 1 had a median weekly wage of only $316; this compares with $577 for level 2, $723 for level 3, and $792 for levels 4/5.
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This page last updated 28 September 2010