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ALLS survey update : initial messages regarding numeracy
Literacy Link (2007)
  • Dave Tout, ACER
In the initial analysis and results coming out from the first wave of the 2003 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS) countries, the data seem to be indicating that numeracy plays a more important role in economic returns for individuals than do prose or document literacy, and seem to confirm that men outperform women in the area of numeracy and mathematics. Some of the outcomes stemming from the results that will be of interest when the Australian results are released late in 2007 include: the overlap between respondents' abilities in literacy and numeracy was lower than expected; early school leavers are much more likely to score at low levels of numeracy in all countries; the individual economic return to increase in numeracy skill was larger than for the prose and document skills; there are indications that numeracy skills are more important than literacy at work, and skills deficit is greater for numeracy; men performed better on the numeracy scale in all countries; from International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) research it is known that the proportion of individuals with Level 1 skills exerts a strong negative drag on growth in GDP per capita so one could realise quite large economic gains by investing in the bottom. IALS research also indicated that the skill levels of women seem to matter more to the growth in GDP than those of men. The author looks briefly at some potential questions about numeracy that could be analysed from the Australian results at both the government and policy level, and the research and educational level.
  • Economic development,
  • Research,
  • Education,
  • Gender differences,
  • Literacy,
  • Numeracy,
  • Surveys
Publication Date
July, 2007
Citation Information
Dave Tout. "ALLS survey update : initial messages regarding numeracy" Literacy Link Vol. 27 Iss. 4 (2007)
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