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Adult Skills in Focus

Adult Skills in Focus is a series of policy-oriented notes designed to describe the results from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills in a concise, user-friendly way.

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What is the relationship between education, literacy and self-reported health?

Highly-educated and highly-skilled individuals are more likely to report better health than the less-educated and less-skilled, even when comparing individuals with similar background characteristics. The difference in self-reported health that is associated with schooling is largest in Norway and the United States and smallest in France, Italy and Sweden. The association between self-reported health and literacy is highest in Austria and the United States. Cross-country differences in the association between schooling and self-reported health and between literacy proficiency and self-reported health suggest that healthcare and social welfare systems play an important role in shaping the association between schooling, literacy and health.

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