Low literacy in Germany: Results from the second German literacy survey


  • Klaus Buddeberg Hamburg University, Germany
  • Gregor Dutz Hamburg University, Germany
  • Anke Grotlüschen Hamburg University, Germany
  • Lisanne Heilmann Hamburg University, Germany
  • Christopher Stammer Hamburg University, Germany




Assessment, literacy, literacy practices


When Germany performed the first national assessment on reading and writing skills among adults in 2010 (LEO), it was late compared to other European countries such as_x000D_
England or France. Now the results of the second round of that survey reveal a higher average literacy level in Germany compared to the preceding survey. In this paper, we briefly discuss the state of literacy research in large-scale surveys and offer some critical viewpoints. Next, we present the results of the two LEO surveys from 2010 and 2018. Besides providing information about the composition of the low-literate adult population in Germany (aged 18–64 years), we selected results that might help to critically revise current stereotypes about adults who have difficulties reading and writing.


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How to Cite

Buddeberg, K., Dutz, G., Grotlüschen, A., Heilmann, L., & Stammer, C. (2020). Low literacy in Germany: Results from the second German literacy survey. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 11(1), 127–143. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela9147