World’s Most Educated Countries


According todata from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Russia may be one of the most educated countries in the world. According to the OECD data, Russia is the country with the highest level of tertiary education attention among it and 29 other OECD countries.

The study found that more than 53% of Russians aged 25 to 64 held a teritary degree (equivalent to a college degree in the United States)—more than any other country reviewed. This is despite the fact that post-secondary-education spending in Russia was among the lowest, at US$7,424 per student in 2010, and also despite education spending there having declined between 2008 and 2012.

China meanwhile, had only 4% of the adult population holding tertiary degrees.

It should be noted however, that neither the percentage of adults with a tertiary degree nor the level of spending per student will indicate the skill level achieved from the degree. The performance of Russians in reading, math, and science lagged when compared to the OECD average.

On average across the countries looked at by the OECD, women tend to outperform men, with 43% of women aged 25 to 34 having an upper-secondary or tertiary degree, compared to only 34% of men in the same age group. Equal access to education across genders is noted as an important aspect to a country’s educational performance, general economic development, and overall well-being.

The report shows a link between post-secondary-education spending and levels of education, as six of the most educated countries was higher than the OECD average of US$13,957. The United States had the highest spending per student, at US$26,021. The second highest spending per post-secondary student was in Canada, which also was the only country other than Russia where more than half the adult population obtained a teritary degree.

24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of the top ten educated countries, based on the OECD data:

  1. Russia
  2. Canada
  3. Japan
  4. Israel
  5. United States
  6. South Korea
  7. Australia
  8. UK
  9. New Zealand
  10. Ireland

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