In the most recent birth cohorts, adults have fewer difficulties in writing, but greater ones in arithmetic
Sixteen percent of residents of metropolitan France (mainland + Corsica) aged 18-65 experience difficulties in basic writing skills in 2011. For 11%, these difficulties are severe or significant. Among people schooled in France, 7% find themselves in this situation and can therefore be regarded as functionally illiterate, down from 9% in 2004. The 18-29s have better results than their elders in reading and oral comprehension. The share of persons highly proficient in arithmetic has declined since 2004. Arithmetic skills decrease with age, and the broad improvement recorded over successive earlier cohorts no longer applies to the youngest age group. Women are more likely than men to have difficulty in arithmetic, but the opposite is true for writing.