Scottish Survey of Adult Literacy and Numeracy

This represents the biggest survey of adult literacies levels undertaken in Scotland. The survey measured three dimensions of literacy skills (prose, document and quantitative) for almost 2000 people living in Scotland.

The survey found that:

  • 73.3% of the Scottish working age population have a level of literacies that is recognised internationally as appropriate for a contemporary society;
  • around one-quarter of the Scottish population (26.7%) may face occasional challenges and constrained opportunities due to their literacies difficulties, but will generally cope with their day-to-day lives; and
  • within this quarter of the population, 3.6% (one person in 28) face serious challenges in their literacies practices.

SSAL found that one of the key factors linked to lower literacies capabilities is poverty, with adults living in 15% of the most deprived areas in Scotland more likely to have literacies capabilities at the lower end of the scale.

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