NZ rates highly in literacy rankings – study

  • 10/03/2016
The literacy study ranked Kiwis 11th when it came to traditional reading tests (Getty)
The literacy study ranked Kiwis 11th when it came to traditional reading tests (Getty)

New Zealand is among the "most literate" countries in the world according to a new study -- reaching the top 25 percent of the global rankings.

The study, from Central Connecticut State University, ranked New Zealand as the 15th most literate country in the world, just ahead of Australia and the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday the same study appeared to show that New Zealand was the fifth most literate country in the world, based on us having the highest availability of computers in the world and the eighth-best education system -- despite only ranking 11th best on traditional reading tests.

Nordic countries dominated the top five with Finland taking out the top spot and was followed by Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden.

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.

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

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," Mr Miller said.

The US was 11th and Canada 10th while Botswana had the dubious honour of last place of the 61-ranked countries.