The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: Age and Literacy
This report is the fourth in a series of four that investigate the initial results of the ALL survey. It presents an overview of New Zealanders’ skills in relation to age, and any changes since 1996.
Author(s): Paul Satherley and Elliot Lawes, Research Division, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: August 2008
Age Cohorts continued This section examines these questions:
- Do the differences in the distributions of literacy skill between men and women change with age?
- Are the relationships between skill-level, age and gender the same for different skills?
Prose literacy, age and gender
The distributions of prose literacy skill by age group and gender are shown in Figure 12.
|On average, women have higher prose literacy skills than men over all age groups.|
Figure 12: Prose literacy, age and gender, ALL only
Figure 12 shows that for all age groups (except 55−65-year-olds), women had higher overall prose literacy skills than men (and for 16−24-year-olds and 35−44-year-olds these skills were substantially higher). Among 55−65-year-olds, women and men had approximately the same overall prose literacy skills.
Figure 12 also shows that the differences in overall prose literacy skill between men and women result from, in most age groups, women having larger percentages at level 3 than men, and smaller percentages at level 1.
Document literacy, age and gender
The distributions of document literacy skill by age group and gender are shown in Figure 13.
|On average, men and women have similar document literacy over all ages, with 16−24-year-old women performing slightly better than men, and 45−65-year-old men performing slightly better than women. |
Figure 13: Document literacy, age and gender, ALL only
Figure 13 shows that among 16−24-year-olds, women had substantially higher overall document literacy skills than men; among 25−34 and 35−44-year-olds women and men had approximately the same document literacy skills; and among 45−54 and 55−65 year-olds men had substantially higher document literacy skills than women.
Numeracy, age and gender
The distributions of numeracy skill by age group and gender are shown in Figure 14.
|On average, men perform better than women in numeracy skills over all age groups.|
Figure 14: Numeracy, age and gender, ALL only
Figure 14 shows that for all age groups men had substantially higher overall numeracy skills than women. Across all age groups, this results from men having substantially higher percentages at level 4 or 5, and for 25−65-year-olds lower percentages at level 1. For all age groups (except 55−65-year-olds), men and women had roughly the same percentages at level 3; among 55−65-year-olds the percentage of men at level 3 was substantially higher than that of women.
Problem-solving, age and gender
The distributions of problem-solving skill by age group and gender are shown in Figure 15.
|On average, the performance of men and women is very similar in problem-solving skills over all ages. |
Figure 15: Problem-solving, age and gender, ALL only
Figure 15 shows that in contrast with the other skill domains, only among 55−65-year-olds was there a difference in overall problem-solving skill between the genders (where men had higher skills than women).