18% of Irish people have literacy problems
on 08/10/2013 09:43:40
The survey, carried out by the CSO interviewed 6,000 people aged 16 - 65, and found 17.9% ranked "level 1" on a five-level scale of literacy. Ireland ranks 15 out of 24 participating countries when it comes to literacy.
A level one score means the person may have trouble understanding basic written information.
The score of 17.9% accounts for 550,057 Irish adults, but is still an improvement over the 22% level in the last results from 1997.
The results place us roughly in line with England (17.8%), Poland (18.8%), Germany (19%), and Northern Ireland (19.6%).
The country ranks similarly in numeracy skills, with one in four of those surveyed encountering problems. The average for the other participating countries is 20%.
The study also explored the nation's technological ability, and found that 42% of Irish adults fell into the level 1 or below category on "using technology to solve problems and accomplish tasks."
Other countries with a similar technology score include Finland (40%), Estonia (43%) and Sweden (44%).
The survey also showed trends among the younger population being more capable in each category, with those in their 20s tending to outperform their older counterparts in all three areas.
"The results from the OECD adult skills survey show that 18% of Irish people have difficulty understanding basic written text," said, Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency.
"The number at or below level 1 in numeracy stands at over 25%, placing Ireland even further down the international rankings in 18th place.
"This survey confirms findings from other reports that people with the lowest skill levels also have low educational attainment, earn less income, are more likely to be unemployed and have poorer health."