"Adults in the United States do not measure up well on literacy and numeracy skills and the ability to solve problems in technology rich environments according to OECD’s Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adults Skills (2013). The new survey ranks the U.S. 16th of 23 countries in adult literacy, 21st of 23 countries in adult numeracy and 14th of 23 countries in problem-solving. The survey included adults ages 16-65 and focuses in how adults develop literacy and numeracy skills, how they use those skills and what benefits they gain from them. The Survey of Adult Skills is part of the Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)."
"This first OECD Skills Outlook presents the initial results of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), which evaluates the skills of adults in 24 countries. It provides insights into the availability of some of the key skills and how they are used at work and at home. A major component is the direct assessment of key information-processing skills: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in the context of technology-rich environments."
Who's Not Online and Why is a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life project. Here's a teaser of their findings.
As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.
Asked why they do not use the internet:
- 34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
- 32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
- 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
- 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.
Even among the 85% of adults who do go online, experiences connecting to the internet may vary widely. For instance, even though 76% of adults use the internet at home, 9% of adults use the internet but lack home access. These internet users cite many reasons for not having internet connections at home, most often relating to issues of affordability—some 42% mention financial issues such as not having a computer, or having a cheaper option outside the home.
The full report is online here.