United States: The United States is also one of the most educated countries throughout the world. A global picture of attainment shows estimates and projections of the total world population by level of education. There are several international standardised tests that try to measure learning outcomes in a systematic way across countries; but these tests are relatively new, and they tend to cover only specific geographical areas and skills. As we can see, in all OECD countries for which information is available, the higher the level of education, the greater the relative earnings. She holds five masters degrees and two bachelor’s degrees, in fields as diverse as English, economics, and electrical engineering. Education is a valuable investment, both individually and collectively. The time-series chart shows inequality by age group. This high level of educational attainment correlates to the country’s economy, which has a consistent annual growth rate of 2.3%. The visualization shows the strong cross-country correlation between child mortality and educational attainment. Until 2014 this number fell to 263 million, despite an increase in the global young population.For 2014 it can be seen that at the primary school age the number of girls that are out of school is higher than for boys. To identify the most educated countries in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 countries with the highest proportions of residents aged 25 to 64 with a tertiary education in 2011. Only 3% of individuals with a tertiary education are unemployed in Luxembourg, while 6% of those who did not finish high school are unemployed. This chart plots GDP per capita (after adjusting for differences in prices across countries and time), against average student test scores (after homogenizing and pooling international and regional student assessments across education levels and subjects). The experience of some countries, such as South Korea, shows how remarkably quickly educational attainment can increase. The visualization presents OECD-average expenditure on education institutions by source of funds.13. Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. The education system is more public and was increased by 5% on an average in the year 2008-2010 amongst all the OECD countries. Handbook of the Economics of Education, 2. Available online here. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited. For example, by contrasting the wages of genetically identical twins with different schooling level, researchers have found a way of controlling for unobservable characteristics such as family background and innate ability. This scatter plot compares national average learning outcomes in 1985 and 2015 (or closest years with available data). The OECD’s report Education at a Glance (2015) provides similar descriptive evidence for other social outcomes. Of course, credit is never given where it truely belongs. The OECD provides country-specific figures. It can be seen that as inequality is falling over time, the level of inequality is higher for older generations than it is for younger generations. Education levels correspond to individuals with 10, 12 and 16 years of education. Japan is one of the most literate nations in the world and half of the population (50.50 percent) are educated adults. And these results hold after controlling for literacy, gender, age and monthly earnings. Similarly, after accounting for literacy proficiency, the percentage of individuals with tertiary education increases by 16 percentage points compared to someone who has upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education.”. A classic example of a mechanism though which education may yield such positive economic externalities, is that aggregate education improves a country’s ability to innovate, as well as imitate and adapt new technologies, hence enabling ‘technological progress’ and sustained growth (see Lindahl and Krueger (2001) for an overview of further macroeconomic theories of education and growth).25, While early studies found that schooling levels were poor predictors of economic growth, more recent studies – that crucially made use of better data – confirm the expected positive link. For earlier periods, historians have to reconstruct data from other sources. Data on the production of education shows that schooling tends to be largely financed with public resources across the globe, although a great deal of heterogeneity is observed between countries and world regions. The challenges are therefore much larger in these countries. Available online from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002252/225258e.pdf, UNESCO points out that “concerns have been also raised that enrolment rates can be overstated in education systems in order to meet goals or due to direct links to levels of financing and resources.”, Source: UNESCO report Measuring Exclusion From Primary Education (2005). Economics of Education Review, 37, 204-212. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2013. The environment that children are exposed to early in life, plays a crucial role in shaping their abilities, behavior and talents. And the rate of growth really climbed after the middle of the 20th century, when the expansion of basic education became a global priority. Rounding out the top three is Japan at 51.4% and Israel with 50.9%. This is a great accomplishment! In Burkina Faso, Niger and South Sudan – the African countries at the bottom of the rank – literacy rates are still below 30%. Here we see that those countries where a larger share of students attain minimum proficiency, tend to also be countries where a larger share of students attain advanced proficiency. This reflects the fact that many children who are officially enrolled, do not regularly attend school. As we can see, countries where adults had a higher average education level in 1970, are also more likely to have democratic political regimes today (you can read more about measures of democracy in our entry on Democracy). This indicates that in these countries the literacy rate for the overall population will continue to increase. In contrast, by 2010 the distribution had shifted drastically to the right. As we can see, learning outcomes tend to be much higher in richer countries; but differences across countries are very large, even among countries with similar income per capita. Roughly speaking, this pattern tends to be progressive, since students from wealthier households are more likely to attend tertiary education, and those individuals who attend tertiary education are likely to perceive large private benefits.14 In contrast, the bottom chart shows a very different picture: in several low-income countries households contribute proportionally more to primary education than to higher levels. An important body of literature stipulates that women’s education leads to lower child mortality because it contributes towards healthier habits and choices, including child spacing (see Brown and Barrett 1991 for a more detailed conceptualization of the mechanisms).24. Canada leads the way in terms of having a highly educated workforce. In other words, there is robust evidence supporting the causal effect of education on wages (for more details see Card 1999). The most educated people, even though they were small in numbers, we black females. Paris, France. The data used for this figure comes from the March Current Population Surveys in the US. The plotted series for the UK typifies the experience of early-industrialized countries, where enrollment in primary education grew rapidly with the spread of compulsory primary schooling in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Further details on regional classifications are available in the source paper. This article takes a closer look at some of the countries with the most educated workforces around the world. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution. The link between expenditure and outcomes, Average OECD non-tertiary education expenditure by source of funding, Average learning outcomes vs GDP per capita, Child mortality vs. mean years of schooling, Children in school: administrative vs household survey data, Correlation between education in the past and democracy today, Correlation between mean years of schooling and GDP per capita, Cumulative drop-out rate to the last grade of lower secondary general education, Existence of nationally representative learning assessment at the end of primary education, Gender ratios for mean years of schooling, Gross enrollment ratio in primary education, Gross enrollment ratio in secondary education, Learning outcomes, minimum vs advanced achievement, National average learning outcomes, 1985 vs 2015, Number of people aged 15+ with no education (in millions) by continent, Official entrance age to compulsory education, Out-of-school children of primary school age by world region, Out-of-school girls of primary school age by world region, Political regime vs. While in the last decade the share of public funding for these levels of education has decreased slightly, the broad pattern is remarkably stable. The increasingly long tails that we see in the distributions, are the result of cross-country inequalities in education expansion – in the long run, we can see that there has been a considerable increase in the dispersion of the years of schooling. The world bank economic review, 15(3), 367-391. When citing this entry, please also cite the underlying data sources. These figures are simply correlations, and cannot be interpreted causally: individuas with more education are different in many ways to individuals with less education, so we cannot attribute wage differences solely to education choices. the gender ratios approximate the 100% benchmark for education gender parity). She’s also one of the most well-educated. This chart shows the share of students who achieve minimum proficiency (i.e. In the previous section we showed, through school enrollment data, that the world went through a great expansion in education over the past two centuries. For example, in Norway, the percentage of individuals with tertiary education reporting to trust others increases by 20 percentage points compared to someone who has upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education. Improving Education Outcomes in Developing Countries: Evidence, Knowledge Gaps, and Policy Implications. The top chart in this figure, corresponding to high income countries, shows a very clear pattern: households contribute the largest share of expenses in tertiary education, and the smallest share in primary education. You can add countries, or switch to the ‘map’ view, by selecting the corresponding options at the top of the chart. Population and Development Review, 36(2), 253-281. No. The previous graph gave a cross-country comparison of earning by education level. Available online here. The report concludes that adults with higher qualifications are more likely to report desirable social outcomes, including good or excellent health, participation in volunteer activities, interpersonal trust, and political efficacy. All visualizations, data, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. In fact, Latin America and Eastern Europe caught up with the group of ‘advanced economies’ in the 1980s, and the gender gaps in these regions have already been closed almost completely (i.e. The source for the visualization – Tanzi & Schuktnecht (2000) – compiles estimates from many sources, including: League of Nations Statistical Yearbook (various years), Mitchell (1962), OECD Education at a Glance (1996), UNESCO World Education Report (1993), UNDP Human Development Report (1996), UN World Economics Survey (various years). The same data is also then published by the World Bank (World Bank EdStats and World Development Indicators) and Gapminder. National Bureau of Economic Research. More precisely, this chart plots the percentage-point difference in the likelihood of reporting to trust others, by education level of respondents. These institutions reconstructed educational attainment distributions by age and sex for 120 countries for the years 1970–2000. Each bubble in this chart is a country, where colours represent regions and bubble sizes denote population. This is a ‘meta-entry’ on education. 245-252. Here we show evidence of this process of education expansion using cross-country estimates of average years of schooling. These costs are recorded as 3 times the OECD average. This article is published in collaboration with The Conversation. Data on PISA scores corresponds to 2010 mean average test scores across categories – mathematics, reading and science (source: OECD PISA). Oxford: Elsevier. It’s time for more scholastic facts as we bring you our list of The 14 Most Educated Countries in the World.One of the more important factors for the improvement of a country is education. Literacy is a key skill and a key measure of a population’s education. According to the OECD over 56 percent of adults in the Great White North have earned some kind of education after high school. The previous visualization showed the important progress that countries around the world have made regarding access to education, as measured by enrollment rates. That was in 1978. It shows that our world will be inhabited by more and more educated people: while in 1970 there were only around 700 million people in the world with secondary or post-secondary education, by 2100 this figure is predicted to be 10 times larger. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Valero, A., & Van Reenen, J. While its high level of educated is not currently reflected in the economy, it will be a key factor in helping the country move forward economically. Indeed, in most countries basic education is nowadays perceived not only as a right, but also as a duty – governments are typically expected to ensure access to basic education, while citizens are often required by law to attain education up to a certain basic level.1. The source reports that “among the 59 countries with comparable data, in 24 countries participation rates drop by five percentage points for the primary school-age group when household surveys are used instead of administrative data.”4. For example, Belgium and Canada have roughly similar average outcomes; but Canada has a higher share of students that achieve minimum proficiency, while Belgium has a larger share of students who achieve advanced proficiency. Secondary and tertiary education have also seen drastic growth, with global average years of schooling being much higher now than a hundred years ago. Now we turn to ‘quality’ measures of education. The advancement of the idea to provide education for more and more children only began in the mid 19th century, when most of today’s industrialized countries started expanding primary education. The main source of data on international education expenditure is UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS). Here we focus on enrollment and attendance rates specifically at the primary level. Because of its dedication to having an educated workforce, this country has the second lowest percentage (only 8%) of unemployed and uneducated youth (known as NEET’s). For 1998 it is estimated that 381 million children were out of school. Young people in Ireland have among the highest levels of education in the world, according to a major new international study.. The rate of primary school enrollment is typically measured through administrative data, and is defined as the number of children enrolled in primary school who belong to the age group that officially corresponds to primary schooling, divided by the total population of the same age group. Handbook of labor economics, 3, 1801-1863. Among OECD countries, Luxembourg allocates the highest amount of its national budget to students at all levels of educational attainment. Better education lifts all boats. Since differences in national expenditure on education do not explain well cross-country differences in learning outcomes, the data suggests that generic policies that increase expenditure on standard inputs, such as the number of teachers, are unlikely to be effective to improve education outcomes. This is exactly what Nadir Altinok, Noam Angrist and Harry Patrinos did in a new working paper: Global Data Set on Education Quality (1965–2015). Low-income, low-performing countries are clustered at the bottom of the global scale: the distribution of test scores within these countries is shifted down, relative to high-performing countries. This is explained by near-universal enrolment rates at these levels of education and the demographic structure of the population. High school students in Canada performed better … Oxford: Elsevier. It was only until the Middle Ages that book production started growing and literacy among the general population slowly started becoming important in the Western World.3. The chart shows the number of the world’s young population who are out of school across primary- and secondary-school-age. In 2011, the government allocated $23,226 of the national budget per student for their educational attainment. Where has all the education gone?. You can read more about their approach and results in our blog post “Global education quality in 4 charts”. This chart is an ‘added-variable plot’ of a regression of the average annual rate of growth (in percent) of real GDP per capita in 1960–2000 on the initial level of real GDP per capita in 1960, average test scores on international student achievement tests, and average years of schooling in 1960. This reflects the fact that there has been a continuous increase in average years of schooling worldwide: as the share of the uneducated population fell over time, the concentration at the lower level became less pronounced. The other main source on this topic are the estimates from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID). The data indicates that over half (54%) of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 64 had college or university qualifications. (2010). Here we go further and explore changes across the entire global distribution of years of schooling. The rate of attendance, on the other hand, is typically measured through household survey data, and is defined as the percentage of children in the age group that officially corresponds to primary schooling who are reported as attending primary school. You can read more about this in Delgado, Henderson and Parmeter (2014)30, Hanushek (2013)31 and Pritchett (2001).32. As incomes – measured by GDP per capita – are generally increasing around the world, this means that the total amount of global resources spent on education is also increasing in absolute terms. The rise in mean years of schooling is consistently observed in both Barro Lee (2010) and Lee & Lee (2016). The way education affects the economy of Ukraine is somewhat hindered by political problems within the country. The number of years of schooling that a child of school entrance age can expect to receive if the current age-specific enrollment rates persist throughout the child’s life by country.This is shown in the map. 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