This Is the Most Educated Country in the World

A number of global organizations keep track of education rates and how they vary from nation to nation. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development uses education as a yardstick for its Better Life Index. It also has a study of the tertiary-educated population across many countries. The International Monetary Fund’s recently published The Global Education Emergency report raised an alarm about education in low-income countries. And the World Bank keeps an online library of education statistics by nation.

Among the most obvious conclusions of these studies is that education is closely tied to prosperity. It is also sometimes paired with longevity and health.

For its recent Global education countries study, included data on primary and secondary education, primary- and secondary-aged children who are out of school, and government spending on education. Most of the data came from the World Bank.

Based on this information, the study gave each of 63 countries an “education score.” Not surprisingly, the countries at the top of the list are unusually prosperous, and almost all have high gross domestic product per capita.

Singapore tops the list with a score of 9.10. Its GDP per capita ranks third in the world. Iceland was second with a score of 8.40, followed by Canada at 8.28. Canada ranks sixth in GDP per capita.

The United States stands out as an aberration. While it ranks second based on GDP per capita, it ranks 13th with an education score of 7.76. That puts it behind several nations in Scandinavia and Europe. Pew Research’s U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries report pointed out:

Recently released data from international math and science assessments indicate that U.S. students continue to rank around the middle of the pack, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.

These are the 20 most educated countries in the world and their education scores:

  • Singapore (9.10)
  • Iceland (8.40)
  • Canada (8.28)
  • Sweden (8.22)
  • Denmark (8.07)
  • Slovenia (7.97)
  • Norway (7.94)
  • France (7.94)
  • Belgium (7.87)
  • Finland (7.81)
  • New Zealand (7.80)
  • United Kingdom (7.80)
  • United States (7.76)
  • Netherlands (7.72)
  • Ireland (7.62)
  • Australia (7.51)
  • Switzerland (7.42)
  • Israel (7.38)
  • Latvia (7.37)
  • Malta (7.26)

Click here to read see which are the most and least educated states.

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