4228.0 - Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/01/2008  Reissue
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A new product has been released in this series of international surveys of adult literacy skills. PIAAC 2011-2012 is the third survey of international comparisons of adult literacy skills conducted in Australia and is preceded by the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) 2006 and Survey of Aspects of Literacy (SAL) 1996 (internationally known as the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)).

Data previously released in the ALLS and SAL publications are not directly comparable with PIAAC data. The reasons for this are:

  • The literacy and numeracy skill levels previously published for ALLS and SAL have been redefined to make them consistent with PIAAC. The description of the skill levels (Level 1, Level 2, etc.) have been altered because they are now based on a model with a response probability (RP) value of 0.67 rather than a model with a RP value of 0.8. The 0.67 value was used in PIAAC to achieve consistency with the OECD survey Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in the description of what it means to be performing at a particular level of proficiency. The new RP value does not affect the score that was calculated for a respondent. However, it does affect the interpretation of the score. Therefore, users of these data should refer to the new skill level descriptions provided in the appendix Scores and skill levels when performing time-series comparisons;
  • The prose and document literacy scales from ALLS and SAL have been combined to produce a single literacy scale which is comparable to the PIAAC literacy scale; and
  • The numeracy scores from ALLS have been recalculated using a model that incorporates the results of all countries that participated in ALLS. (The previous model was based only on countries which participated in the first round of ALLS.) This has resulted in some minor changes to the ALLS numeracy scores. SAL did not collect a numeracy domain which is comparable with ALLS and PIAAC.

Data based on these remodelled literacy scores (from ALLS and SAL) and numeracy scores (from ALLS) will be included in additional data cubes when the data become available.

Refer to the Comparability of Time Series section of the PIAAC Explanatory Notes for further information about comparing ALLS data with PIAAC.


This publication presents information from the 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS). The results from ALLS will assist in answering questions of whether Australians' literacy skills are adequate for the challenges they face in work and daily life. The ALLS provides information on knowledge and skills of 15 to 74 year olds in the following four domains: prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving. A fifth domain measuring health literacy proficiency was produced as a by-product of the above domains.


As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sums of the component items and totals.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on
1300 135 070.