Public data and analysis


The data collection for the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) took place from August 2011 to March 2012 in most participating countries. Around 166 000 adults, representing 724 million adults aged 16 to 65, were surveyed in 24 countries and sub-national regions in the official language/s of the countries.


» Public Use Files (PUF)

Public Use Files containing individual unit record data in SAS, SPSS and Excel format are available for downloading for each of the countries participating in the Survey of Adult Skills. These contain both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment. Revised Public Use Files with updated data were released on March 2015. Please note that the revised file was updated after recalculation of the derivation of the following variables in the Public Use Files: NFE12JR, NFE12NJR, FNFE12JR, FNFAET12JR and FNFAET12NJR. 

Download the PUF

To access the Australian Public Use File please write to:

German PIAAC Scientific Use File and its User Guide. Please note that access to some data is subject to prior authorisation. Please see 'data and documents' tab on the GESIS page. 

U.S. PIAAC Synthetic Restricted Use File (SAS® / SPSS Codebook/User Guide). The U.S. PIAAC synthetic restricted use file (S-RUF) is available to researchers outside the U.S. to prepare computer code for the analysis of PIAAC data on the U.S. restricted use file (RUF). The U.S. RUF contains some variables that are not included in the US international PUF. As the data on the S-RUF is synthetic, no conclusions can be drawn from the output generated. Researchers wishing to run analysis on the actual U.S. RUF are able to submit their SAS, SPSS, or Stata code to


» Background Questionnaires

The PIAAC background questionnaire includes a range of information regarding the factors which influence the development and maintenance of skills such as education, social background, engagement with literacy and numeracy and ICTs, language as well as information on outcomes which may be related to skills. Information is collected on the current activity of respondents, employment status and income. In terms of non-economic outcomes, the survey includes questions on health status, volunteering, political efficacy and social trust.

Download the International Master Questionnaire

» Codebooks

The PIAAC Survey collects data using complex sample and psychometric designs making it necessary to use advanced statistical procedures to estimate sampling and measurements variances. The following tools have been designed to help SAS, Stata or SPSS users to explore the data and compute statistics. 

International codebook
Derived variables codebook

» Data compendia

The compendia are sets of tables that provide categorical percentages for both cognitive and background items. The purpose of the compendia is to support PUF users so that they can gain knowledge of the contents of the PUF, and can use the compendia results to be sure that they are performing PUF analyses correctly. Note that due to the design of the cognitive assessment, comparisons of the cognitive item statistics provided in the compendia across countries for reporting purposes may not be appropriate.

Download the data compendia - Background variables
Download the data Compendia - Cognitive variables

» List of missing variables in the PUF Files

In some countries, data protection laws mean that some variables cannot be included in the PUF for that country. This table provides a list of variables that are coded as “missing” in the PUF files, by country

Download the list of missing variables

» International Technical Report of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)

The report gives in details the technicalities of the Survey, including: the Assessment and Instrument Design, the Platform Development, the Field Operations and Quality Control, the Sampling and Weighting, the Data Analysis and Data Products.

Access the Technical Report


The PIAAC Survey collects data using complex sample and psychometric designs making it necessary to use advanced statistical procedures to estimate sampling and measurements variances. The following tools have been designed to help SAS, Stata or SPSS users to explore the data and compute statistics.

» Macros and data analysis manuals

Download the STATA® Macro (version 1.2)

Download the STATA® macro data analysis manual

Download the SAS® Macro (version 2.2)
Download the SAS® macro data analysis manual

STATA® Repest Macro

» International Database (IDB) Analyzer

The IDB facilitates the analysis of data from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). It creates SPSS code that can be used with SPSS to conduct statistical analyses, taking into account the complex sample structure of the databases. The software allows you to combine data from different countries for cross-country analysis and to select specific subsets of variables. It provides several different procedures for analysis, such as the computation of means or percentages of any background variable of interest for a whole country or subgroup within a population.

Access the IDB Analyzer

Explore the data

» International Data Explorer (IDE)

The IDE allows you to create statistical tables and charts to explore adults' (16-65 years of age) performance in literacy, numearcy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments. Data can be analysed by country as well as in relation to demographic characteristics, social and linguistic background, education, use of skills and employment status. 

Access the IDE
Watch the IDA Training

» OECD Education GPS

The Education GPS will allow you to keep up to date with the latest OECD data and research on education and skills. 

Access the OECD Education GPS

» Webpackages

The Webpackages will allow you to download all the figures and tables included in the OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills. The webpackages also include data tables for other skill domains referred to but not examined in the report as well as some additional data. The package consists of Excel workbooks that can be viewed and downloaded by chapter.

Access the Webpackages

» Data from the IALS and the ALL

Public use microdata files containing data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the International Adult Literacy Skills Survey (ALL) can be accessed from Statistics Canada using the following links:

International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
International Adult Literacy Skills Survey (ALL)

 For any queries, please contact


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