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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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SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS


SELF-ASSESSED HEALTH

A high proportion of people that reported excellent or very good health achieved Level 3 or above for literacy (61%) and numeracy (50%), and for problem solving in technology-rich environments (PSTRE), at Level 2 or above (34%). In comparison, 40% of people with poor or fair health attained a literacy score of Level 3 or above, 30% a numeracy score at level 3 or above, and 18% a PSTRE score at Level 2 or above. It should be noted that a much higher proportion of older people than younger people reported poor or fair health as compared to excellent or very good health. Given that scores were lower at older ages, this explains part of the association between poorer health and skill levels. Nevertheless, for each age range people with poorer health had lower scores. For example among people aged 15 to 24 years, 62% of those reporting excellent or very good health achieved a score at Level 3 or above for literacy, 50% for numeracy, and 43% a PSTRE score at Level 2 or above. In comparison among people aged 15 to 24 years with fair or poor heath 45% were assessed at Level 3 or above for literacy, 28% for numeracy and 36% were scored at Level 2 or above for PSTRE. Of people aged 65 to 74 years with excellent or very good health, 38% were assessed at Level 3 or above for literacy, 32% for numeracy and 6.7% achieved a PSTRE score of Level 2 or above. For people aged 65 to 74 years with fair or poor health, 18% were assessed at Level 3 or above for literacy, 16% for numeracy and 2.4% for PSTRE.

COUNTRY OF BIRTH

Among people born in Australia, 57% achieved a literacy score at Level 3 or above, 46% at numeracy Level 3 or above, and 30% at PSTRE Level 2 or above. For people born outside Australia, 49% had skills at literacy Level 3 or above, 40% at numeracy Level 3 or above and 24% at PSTRE Level 2 or above. However, there were large differences by country of birth. For people born in the United Kingdom, 62% achieved a literacy score at Level 3 or above, 50% at numeracy Level 3 or above, and 29% at PSTRE Level 2 or above. For people born in Malaysia, 69% were assessed at literacy Level 3 or above, 60% at numeracy Level 3 or above, and 29% at PSTRE Level 2 or above. Among people born in South Africa, 65% attained a literacy score at Level 3 or above, 58% at numeracy Level 3 or above, and 45% at PSTRE Level 2 or above. In comparison, 17% of people born in Italy had literacy skills at literacy Level 3 or above, 13% at numeracy Level 3 or above and only 0.7% at PSTRE Level 2 or above. There were very large differences in the the age structure of people born in different countries, and this will have affected the scores attained.


LANGUAGE FIRST SPOKEN

People whose first language was not English were more likely to be assessed at lower skill levels. Among this population, 25% were assessed at Level 1 or below, compared to 12% of people whose first language was English.

Thirty three per cent of people whose first language was not English, were assessed at numeracy Level 1 or below, while 20% of people whose first language was English attained a score at Level 1 or below. Of people whose first language was not English, 35% were not classified for PSTRE, and an additional 47% attained Level 1 or below. Conversely, of people whose first language was English, 23% were not classified for PSTRE, and 46% attained Level 1 or below.

Among people whose first language was not English and who were born outside Australia, proficiency levels were low, with 28% of these people attaining literacy scores at Level 1 or below. In comparison, 11% of people who were born outside Australia but whose first language was English were assessed as having a literacy score at Level 1 or below.

Proportion at literacy Level 1 or below, By language first spoken and country of birth—2011–12
Graph: Proportion at literacy Level 1 or below, By language first spoken and country of birth—2011–12



Of people whose first language was not English and who were born outside Australia, 36% had numeracy skills at Level 1 or below, whereas 18% did so among people born outside Australia and whose first language was English.

Proportion at numeracy Level 1 or below, By language first spoken and country of birth—2011–12
Graph: Proportion at numeracy Level 1 or below, By language first spoken and country of birth—2011–12



Of people whose first language was not English and who were born outside Australia, 38% were not classified for PSTRE, and 45% had skills at Level 1 or below. In comparison, 24% of people born outside Australia whose first language was English were not classified, and 43% were assessed at Level 1 or below.

A high proportion of older people, whose first language was not English, attained scores at Level 1 or below for literacy and numeracy. For people aged 55 to 74 years, 46% had literacy scores at Level 1 or below, compared with 16% of people aged 15 to 34 years. For numeracy, 53% of people aged 55 to 74 years had skills at Level 1 or below compared with 23% of people aged 15 to 34 years.


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