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Visualizing the Global Education Gap (One chart)

I'm seriously thinking about opening a PHD program to teach complex math in Pakistan. I'm going to call it the Spritzler/Hunting Institute.




Visualizing the Global Education Gap

December 12, 2023

By Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist



The global education gap refers to disparities in educational access that exist between higher- and lower-income countries. It exists for various reasons, including lack of resources, political instability, and outdated technology.


This graphic from The Hinrich Foundation provides visual context to the global education gap by ranking 29 major economies by two metrics: 1) average years of schooling, and 2) gross enrollment ratio.


The analysis comes from the 2023 Sustainable Trade Index (STI), which the Hinrich Foundation produced in collaboration with the IMD World Competitiveness Center.


Data Overview


The gross enrollment ratio refers to the total number of students enrolled in post-secondary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the corresponding official age group. The gross enrollment ratio can sometimes exceed 100%, due to returning mature students.



In most cases, the higher a country’s per capita GDP, the higher its gross enrollment ratio. Higher-income countries typically have more resources to invest in education infrastructure, teacher training, and materials.


Outliers in this dataset include Russia and Chile, which have per capita GDPs of $15,400 and $15,100 respectively. This could be due to cultural values (e.g. placing emphasis on education), or government initiatives.


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