Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Young women lag behind men in numeracy:

ABS survey provides insight into numeracy & literacy levels
By Motherpedia
Date: October 10 2013
Editor Rating:

Young women have lower numeracy skills than young men, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

However, when it comes to literacy skills, young women were doing just as well as young men.

"The survey measured participants skills in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments and assigns them to a number of different levels,” says ABS Director Myles Burleigh.

"The higher the level, the better your skills, so Level 2 represents higher skill levels than Level 1, and soon. Level 3 or above for literacy and numeracy represents relatively advanced skills.”

"For numeracy, 45% of young men aged 15 to 19 ranked at Level 3 or above, compared with 39% of young women. However, for literacy, 56% of young women and 53% of young men ranked at Level 3 or above."

Mr Burleigh said that the survey also found that Australians with a non-school qualification, eg Bachelor Degree or Diploma, are much more likely to have high levels of literacy and numeracy than those without a qualification

"Amongst people with a non-school qualification, 62% were assessed as having literacy skills at Level 3 or above, compared with 44% of those without a qualification.

"For numeracy, 52% of those with a non-school qualification were ranked at Level 3 or above,compared with 34% of those without a qualification."

The survey was undertaken as part of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which was conducted in 24 countries around the world, co-ordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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