Home SES – Home Environment Support – PIRLS 2021

PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading

Home Environment Support

Home Socioeconomic Status

The PIRLS 2021 results contribute to the large body of existing research showing a strong positive relationship between students’ socioeconomic environment and their educational achievement.

New for PIRLS 2021, the Home Socioeconomic Status scale, or “home SES” scale, was adapted from the Home Resources for Learning scale reported in previous PIRLS cycles, which combined data from both fourth grade students and their parents. The updated PIRLS 2021 SES scale is based solely on parents’ data collected using the PIRLS 2021 Home Questionnaire.

As shown in “About the Scale,” the PIRLS 2021 Home Socioeconomic Status scale is based on parents’ reports of resources within the home, as well as parental self-reports on education and occupation. Based on the scores for the SES scale, students were placed into three regions—“higher,” “medium,” and “lower” home SES according to their parents’ reports.

Exhibit 5.1 presents for each country the percentages of students classified as having a “higher,” “middle,” or “lower” home SES accompanied by the percentages and average reading achievement of the students in each category. Countries are ordered by the percentage of students with “higher” SES, from highest to lowest.

Internationally, on average, 30 percent of the students were classified as having “higher” home SES, 48 percent with “middle” home SES, and 22 percent with “lower” home SES. Internationally, the results show a large difference of 86 points in average reading achievement between students with “higher” SES and “lower” SES (543 vs. 457). The average reading achievement for students with “middle” SES was 501 scale score points.