Public data and analysis

Twenty-four countries participated in Round 1 of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) with data collection taking place from 1 August 2011 to 31 March 2012 in most countries. Nine countries took part in the second Round of the assessment with data collection taking place from April 2014 to end-March 2015.

In total, around 250 000 adults, representing 815 million adults aged 16 to 65 were surveyed in 33 countries/economies in the official language(s) of the countries in the two rounds of the study.

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» 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.

Public Use Files for the 9 Round-2 countries and revised Public Use Files for Round-1 countries with updated data were released on 28 June 2016. The updates to the Round 1 data files include the rescaling of the skills use indices and the recalculation of the derived earning variables.

Download the detailed list of the updated variables

Download the dataset (Public Use Files)

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 Research Data Center PIAAC at GESIS. 

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

Combined 2012/2014 U.S. International PUF (SAS® / SPSS / CSV / Compendium): 
The combined 2012/2014 U.S. international public use file (PUF) contains data from the internationally comparable sample of adults aged 16-65 from the first and second rounds of PIAAC data collection in the United States and is formatted to conform to the OECD standards. The second round of U.S. PIAAC data collection was conducted from August 2013 through April 2014. The expanded national sample supports more accurate and reliable national estimates for some subgroups. The original 2012 data have been updated, reweighted, and revised with the release of this 2012/2014 dataset, so the updated U.S. dataset should be used for analyses instead of this original 2012 version unless you are seeking to reproduce historic analyses.

In the context of the development of PIAAC second cycle, a pilot study using several online surveys was conducted in order to test the measurement properties of nine personality scales– the Big Five, Traditionalism, Self-Control, Self-Efficacy, Honesty/Integrity, Socio-Emotional Skills, Intellectual Curiosity, Job Orientation Preferences and Vocational Interests.   
» International Pilot Study on Non-Cognitive Skills 
» English Pilot Study on Non-Cognitive Skills



» 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 Master PIAAC Background Questionnaire in English
or in other languages:   

» 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 (2013 - Round 1)
Download the data compendia - Background variables (2016 - Round 2)
Download the data compendia - Cognitive variables (2013 - Round 1)
Download the data compendia - Cognitive variables (2016 - Round 2)

» 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 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, numeracy, 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 allow users to download all the figures and tables included in the OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills (Round 1) and in Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills (Round 2). 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 Webpackage for OECD Skills  Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills
Access the Webpackage for Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills 

» 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)