More and more low-literates

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Compared with other countries, the Netherlands has few illiterates, but that number is increasing, according to the PIAAC report: 'core skills for work and life', an examination of the OESO with a comprehensive analysis of the literacy and math skills of the Dutch between 16 and 65 years.PIAAC stands for Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies and OESO stands for Organisatie voor Economische Samenwerking en Ontwikkeling (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)).


The number of people with reading and writing difficulties has increased over the past five years from 1.1 million to 1.3 million. The increase is particularly noticeable among 45 - to 55-year-olds.

According to the researchers that's when the brain starts to work slower for many people in that age group.

Average Dutch have a high level of knowledge. Together with Finland, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway, the Netherlands is in second place in terms of math skills, behind Japan.

For language skills and problem solving skills, the Netherlands ranks third.

Young people up to 24 years perform relatively best when it comes to language skills, understanding of texts.

The level of math skills has decreased clearly in the Netherlands in the past 5 years. This decline appears, with the exception of Italy, in all other countries in the survey.