Research on the numeracy proficiency of youth and adults in Australia show that Australia's performance has declined. Last year’s OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 54 per cent of 15- to 74-year-olds – more than nine million adults – were performing at the lowest three levels. Worryingly, around 10 per cent more females than males were performing at these lower levels. The results are consistent with research on 15 year olds in school.
One method of addressing the problem is to targeting numeracy in voational educational training (VET) programs, to target women in adult numeracy and literacy programs and to conduct research and monitor numeracy among Australians.