Larger proportions of adults in the United States than in other countries have poor literacy and numeracy skills, and the proportion of adults with poor skills in problem solving in technology-rich environments is slightly larger than the average, despite the relatively high educational attainment among adults in the United States.
Socio-economic economic background has a stronger impact on adult literacy skills in the United States than in other countries. Black and Hispanic adults are substantially over- represented in the low-skilled population.
Literacy skills are linked not only to employment outcomes, but also to personal and social well-being. In the United States, the odds of being in poor health are four times greater for low- skilled adults than for those with the highest proficiency – double the average across participating countries.