Analyzing the U.S Education System Among Top 10 Largest Economies

“The United States is the greatest Nation on the face of the Earth” is gradually becoming a cliche worthy of scrutiny from different perspectives. Though the U.S leads in most areas of global development such as Trade, Military, and to some extent Representative Democracy, the country still lags behind its counterparts of largest economies in terms of Health, Education, Gender Equality, and few social indicators directly related to treatment of minority groups. For the purpose of this analysis, we thought to research how the United States compares to 6 of the top 10 largest economies (Brazil, China, United Kingdom, France, India, and Italy). For easy analysis, 5 indicators were chosen from the World Bank WDI website comparing from 2006-2015:

Literacy Rate Per Total Population

Literacy Rate Per Total Population

It is interesting to know that the largest economies are not leading in term of Literacy Rate. Countries such as Norway and Sweden are almost at 100% Adult Literacy Rate. Bringing the narrative to top 10 economies, the United States still isn’t outperforming its counterparts. At 86% Literacy Rate, the U.S lags behind U.K, France, Italy and Japan.

Government Spending on Education (% of GDP)

Spending on Education % of GDP

The United States spends more on Education than France, Japan, and Italy; countries with higher literacy rates. On average, the U.S expends 5.3% of its total GDP to support education programs.

Per Capita Spending on Primary Education by Government (USD)

Per Capita Spending on Primary Education ($)

Primary Education is considered the bedrock of an effective educational system. Though the United States spends more of its GDP on overall education system, countries like Italy, Japan, and U.K allocate more resources to Primary Education than the U.S does.

Per Capita Spending on Tertiary Education by Government (USD)

Per Capita Spending on Tertiary Education ($)

The cost of acquiring College and University levels education continues to increase across many countries. In most developed countries, students share the cost of tertiary education (with government either providing grants, loans, or some forms of subsidy). India, as the country with lowest GDP Per Capita among top 10 economies, spends more on Tertiary Education because students can not afford cost associated with attending these institutions of higher learning.

Gross Enrollment Ration (both sexes %) at Primary Level

Gross Enrollment Ration (both sexes %) at Primary Level

Gender Parity in education is an important measure of social development in a country. In most countries, there are more boys attending school, while dropout rate for girls keeps increasing. Comparing top 10 economies on gross enrollment ratio for both sexes, the United States is closer to 100%, meaning there is almost a perfect ratio of 1:1. India is the lowest performing country with 1.3 boys to 1 girl attending primary schools.


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