NZ ranks number 5 in the world for literacy

  • 08/03/2016
NZ ranks number 5 in the world for literacy

New Zealand has been ranked the fifth "most literate" country in the world in a new study - but not just when it comes to reading tests.

The new study from Central Connecticut State University has ranked New Zealand as the fifth most literate country in the world, behind Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden and just ahead of Norway.

But the study only ranked Kiwis 11th when it came to traditional reading tests, and it was the highest availability of computers in the world and the eighth-best education system that kept New Zealand near the top.

Researchers said the study was unique in that it looked past just test numbers on literacy, but rather at broader social factors to see how often people were reading overall.

They include the number of libraries, newspapers, computer availability among others in combination with more traditional literacy tests.

"The Pacific Rim countries, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China, would top the list if test performance was the only measure," researcher John Miller said.

"These kinds of literate behaviours are critical to the success of individuals and nations in the knowledge-based economics that define our global future."

Australia came in ranked 15th, while the US was 11th and Canada 10th.