Skill acquisition, skill loss, and age. A comparative study of cognitive foundation skills (SASLA)

Cognitive Foundation Skills (CFS) are typically weaker among older individuals than among younger ones. This study focuses on the links between age, CFS and the factors that promote skill acquisition and prevent a depreciation of skills in the adult population age 16–65 in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Three domains of CFS are examined: literacy, numeracy, and problem solving with ICT.

The study will combine PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) data with data from official registries and with earlier IALS (International Adult Literacy Survey) data. How are the associations between age and CFS to be explained? Are there differences between categories of adults defined by e.g. educational level, gender, immigrant status, educational and employment/unemployment background? Do the data support the hypothesis that we lose CFS as we age? What are the similarities and differences among the Nordic countries with respect to CFS and age?

Facts about the project
Project leader

Antero Malin, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Participating countries

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden