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State & Regional Profiles

Statistical Resources

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES):
NCES gathers and publishes information on the status and progress of education in the United States. The congressional authorization for these activities (with antecedents to 1867) states that the purpose of the Center is to collect and report ". . . statistics and information showing the condition and progress of education in the United States and other nations in order to promote and accelerate the improvement of American education" -- Section 402(b) of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994 (20 U.S.C. 9001). This law mandates an annual statistical report on the subject from the Commissioner of Education Statistics.
  • 1998 edition of The Condition of Education
    International comparisons of adult literacy: From the Condition of Education report: The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) assessed adult literacy performance in 12 countries. The five literacy levels expressed along three scales -- prose, document, and quantitative -- measure a range of literacy, from the basic ability to locate information within simple text, to the ability to understand and use printed information in daily activities, at home, at work, and in the community. As society becomes more complex and low skill jobs continue to disappear, concern about adults' ability to use written information to function in society continues to increase.
  • Approximately one-fifth of adults in the United States scored at or above level 4 on the prose, document, and quantitative literacy scales. Of the 11 other countries that participated in the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), only Sweden exceeded the United States in the percentage of adults scoring at the highest levels of literacy in any of the three domains; the only exception was Canada, which had a greater proportion of adults scoring at or above level 4 on the document scale than did the United States.
  • Adults with a college degree were much more likely to score at level 4 or above than adults with a high school degree, across all countries and across all three literacy scales. In some countries, the difference between the percentages of college graduates and high school graduates scoring at the highest levels of literacy was relatively large (29 percentage points for document literacy in the United States), while in other countries, the difference was relatively small (10 percentage points for document literacy in the Netherlands)
  • National Assessments of Adult Literacy : The National Assessments of Adult Literacy home page, a new feature of the NCES. This page incorporates links to other literacy assessment information other than what is on the NCES website
    • 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS): The National Adult Literacy Survey is a data collection system of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) that was designed to measure the nature and extent of literacy skills among the U.S. adult population (16 years old and older).

Adult Education Data and Statistics (Office of Vocational & Adult Education)

The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy: FEDSTATS maintains this site to provide easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by these agencies for public use.

U. S. Census Bureau provides timely, relevant, and quality data about the people and economy of the United States.

Western and Pacific Region Reports: 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

Regional Offices of States in the Western Pacific Region:
  • Region IX & X represents the eight Western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington
  • Region VII and VIII includes ten Mountain-Plains states including Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
  • Region VI represents the five Southwest states including New Mexico

Synthetic Estimates of Adult Literacy Proficiency

Synthetic estimation uses statistical models to combine information from different data sources to estimate information not available in any one source by itself. The synthetic estimates of adult literacy proficiency presented here combine information from the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) and the 1990 U.S. Census to estimate adult literacy proficiencies in geographical areas not adequately sampled by NALS.
  • Adult Literacy Statistics: This site provides synthetic estimates of adult literacy and census predictors for any geographic area. Synthetic Literacy Estimates, Stephen Reder, Portland State University - 1996

Regional Statistics

Alaska: The Department of Labor and Workforce Development: As a result of department consolidations JULY 1, 1999, this agency was renamed the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and includes the following additional programs: Adult Basic Education, Americorp, Job Training Partnership Act, State Training and Employment Program, and Vocational Rehabilitation .

California: CA Adult Literacy Statistics: State Literacy Resource Center of California
This web site contains information for all California counties. The figures represented are county level projections of data collected in California as part of the National Adult Literacy Survey. Data compiled by the Educational Testing Service on behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education.

Colorado: Estimates of Adult Literacy Proficiencies Based on the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS, 1992) & the U.S. Census (1990)

Hawaii: Hawaiian Adult Literacy Estimates

Nevada: Nevada Literacy Coalition Statistics 

New Mexico: New Mexico Literacy Profile

Oregon: Facts on Literacy Oregon Literacy, Inc.

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