4228.0.30.001 - Microdata: Aspects of Literacy, Australia, 1996 (Second Edition)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/07/1998   
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  • About this Release

15/01/2014 NOTE:

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 Australian and is preceded by the the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) 2006 and the Survey of Aspects of Literacy (SAL) 1996 (internationally known as the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)).

Data previously released in the ALLS and SAL CURFs are not directly comparable with the PIAAC data. The reason for this is that the literacy and numeracy scores previously published for ALLS and SAL were originally based on a model with a response probability (RP) value of 0.8 but PIAAC scores are based on a model with a RP value of 0.67. The latter 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.

The literacy and numeracy scores for ALLS and SAL have been remodelled to make them consistent with PIAAC, however caution is advised when performing time series comparisons as analysis undertaken by the ABS and internationally has shown that in some cases the observed trend is difficult to reconcile with other known factors and is not fully explained by sampling variability. For more information see the Explanatory Notes of the PIAAC publication: Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2011-2012 (cat. no. 4228.0).

The prose and document literacy scales from ALLS and SAL have been combined to produce a single literacy scale comparable to the PIAAC literacy scale. The numeracy score 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. Users of the revised data should also refer to the new skill level descriptions provided in the appendix Scores and skill levels when performing time-series comparisons.

New ALLS Basic and Expanded CURFs, including the updated literacy and numeracy scores are now available. To apply for access to the Basic or Expanded CURF, register and apply in MiCRO.

For further information about comparing data from PIAAC with the previous surveys refer to the Comparability of Time Series section in the Explanatory Notes of the PIAAC publication: Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2011-2012 (cat. no. 4228.0).


This CD-ROM product contains a file of unidentified individual statistical records containing data on 9,302 persons aged 15 to 74. The data on the file includes geographic information; demographic information; a range of labour force variables; information about education and training; language information; a range of literacy-related variables including assessed literacy skill levels; information about educational attainment and occupation of parents; and personal income.

The next release of this product will be called Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Australia: Basic Confidentialised Unit Record File.

See also 4226.0 and 4228.0.