The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

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In the past 50 years, college graduation rates in developed countries have increased nearly 200%, according to Education at a Glance 2011, a recently published report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report shows that while education has improved across the board, it has not improved evenly, with some countries enjoying much greater rates of educational attainment than others. Based on the report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 developed countries with the most educated populations.

The countries with the most highly educated citizens are also some of the wealthiest in the world. The United States, Japan and Canada are on our list and also have among the largest GDPs. Norway and Australia, also featured, have the second and sixth-highest GDPs per capita, respectively. All these countries aggressively invest in education.

The countries that invest the most in education have the most-educated people. All of the best-educated countries, except for the UK, fall within the top 15 OECD countries for greatest spending on tertiary — that is, college or college-equivalent — spending as a percentage of GDP. The U.S. spends the second most and Canada spends the fourth most.

Interestingly, public expenditure on educational institutions relative to private spending by these countries is small compared with other countries in the OECD. While the majority of education is still funded with public money, eight of the countries on our list rely the least on public funding as a percentage of total education spending.

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The countries included here have had educated populations for a long time. While they have steadily increased the percentages of their populations with postsecondary educations, the increases are modest compared to developing countries. The U.S., Canada and Japan have had tertiary educational attainment above 30% since at least 1997. Poland, a recently developed country that is not on our list, had a tertiary educational rate of 10% in 1997. As of 2009, that rate had grown to 21%.

These are the 10 most educated countries in the world.

10. Finland
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 1.8% (3rd lowest)
> GDP per capita: $36,585 (14th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 3.15% (10th lowest)

Finland is a small country relative to the other OECD members. The share of its adult population with some sort of postsecondary education, however, is rather large. This select group is reaching the end of its expansion. From 1999 to 2009, the number of college-educated adults increased only 1.8% annually — the third-smallest amount among all OECD countries. Finland is also one of only two countries, the other being Korea, in which the fields of social sciences, business and law are not the most popular among students. In Finland, new entrants are most likely to study engineering, manufacturing and construction.

9. Australia
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 3.3% (11th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $40,719 (6th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 14.63% (3rd highest)

Australia’s population grew 14.63% between 2000 and 2009. This is the third-largest increase among OECD countries. Its tertiary-educated adult population is increasing at the much less impressive annual rate of 3.3%. Australia also spends the sixth-least amount in public funds on education as a percentage of all expenditures. The country also draws large numbers of international students.

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8. United Kingdom
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 4.0% (9th highest)
> GDP per capita: $35,504 (16th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 3.47% (13th lowest)

Unlike most of the countries with the highest percentage of educated adults, the UK’s educated group increased measurably — more than 4% between 1999 and 2009. Its entire population only grew 3.5% between 2000 and 2009. One aspect that the UK does share with a number of other countries on this list is relatively low public expenditure on education institutions as a percentage of all educational spending. As of 2008, 69.5% of spending came from public sources — the fourth-smallest amount among OECD countries.

7. Norway
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): N/A
> GDP per capita: $56,617 (2nd highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 7.52% (14th highest)

Norway has the third-greatest expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP, at 7.3%. Roughly 23% of that is spent on tertiary education. In Norway, more than 60% of all tertiary graduates were in a bachelor’s program, well more than the U.S., which is close to the OECD average of 45%. The country is one of the wealthiest in the world. GDP per capita is $56,617, second only to Luxembourg in the OECD.

6. South Korea
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 39%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 5.3% (5th highest)
> GDP per capita: $29,101 (13th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 3.70% (14th lowest)

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Korea is another standout country for its recent increase in the percentage of its population that has a tertiary education. Graduates increased 5.3% between 1999 and 2009, the fifth-highest among OECD countries. Like the UK, this rate is greater than the country’s recent population growth. Korea is also one of only two countries — the other being Finland — in which the most popular fields of study are not social sciences, business and law. In Korea, new students choose to study education, humanities and arts at the greatest rates. Only 59.6% of expenditures on educational institutions come from public funds — the second-lowest rate.

5. New Zealand
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 40%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 3.5% (14th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $29,871 (14th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 11.88% (8th largest)

New Zealand is not a particularly wealthy country. GDP per capita is less than $30,000, and is the 14th lowest in the OECD. However, 40% of the population engages in tertiary education, the fifth-highest rate in the world. The country actually has a rapidly growing population, increasing 11.88% between 2000 and 2009. This was the eighth-largest increase in the OECD. Part of the reason for the high rate of tertiary graduates is the high output from secondary schools. More than 90% of residents graduate from secondary school.

4. United States
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 41%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 1.4% (the lowest)
> GDP per capita: $46,588 (4th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 8.68% (12th highest)

The U.S. experienced a fairly large growth in population from 2000 to 2009. During the period, the population increased 8.68% — the 12th highest among OECD countries. Meanwhile, the rate at which the share of the population with a tertiary education is growing has slowed to an annual rate of 1.4% — the lowest among the 34 OECD countries. Just 71% of funding for educational institutions in the country comes from public funds, placing the U.S. sixth-lowest in this measure. Among OECD countries, the largest share of adults with a tertiary education live in the United States — 25.8%.

3. Japan
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 44%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 3.2% (10th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $33,751 (17th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 0.46% (6th lowest)

In Japan, 44% of the adult population has some form of tertiary education. The U.S. by comparison has a rate of 41%. Japan’s population increased just 0.46% between 2000 and 2009, the sixth-slowest growth rate in the OECD, and the slowest among our list of 10. Japan is tied with Finland for the third-highest upper-secondary graduation rate in the world, at 95%. It has the third-highest tertiary graduation rate in the world, but only spends the equivalent of 1.5% of GDP on tertiary education — the 17th lowest rate in the OECD.

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2. Israel
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 45%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): N/A
> GDP per capita: $28,596 (12th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 19.02% (the highest)

Although there is no data on the percentage of Israeli citizens with postsecondary education dating back to 1999, the numbers going back to 2002 show that growth is slowing dramatically compared to other countries. In fact, in 2006, 46% of adults ages 25 to 64 had a tertiary education. In 2007 this number fell to 44%. Only 78% of funds spent on educational institutions in Israel are public funds. The country is also only one of three — the other two being Ireland and Sweden — where expenditure on educational institutions as a proportion of GDP decreased from 2000 to 2008. Israel also had the largest increase in overall population, approximately 19% from 2000 to 2009.

1. Canada
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 50%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 2.3% (5th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $39,070 (10th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 9.89% (10th highest)

In Canada, 50% of the adult population has completed tertiary education, easily the highest rate in the OECD. Each year, public and private expenditure on education amount to 2.5% of GDP, the fourth-highest rate in the world. Tertiary education spending accounts for 41% of total education spending in the country. In the U.S., the proportion is closer to 37%. In Israel, the rate is 22%. In Canada, nearly 25% of students have an immigrant background.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Going! Going! Gone! Nigerian Northern Elites and The Auctioning of Buhari

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Read Time:6 Minute, 26 Second

Auctioning is a process of disposal of tangible goods to the highest bidder at the time the auction cry is over. The highest bidder takes the goods except if a higher bid comes up before the bid is closed. I do remember with nostalgia my early years when after every annual harvest and thanksgiving church service the parishioners gathers for the bazaar sales.  The goods offered to The Lord as thanksgiving offerings were usually gathered together for disposal to the highest bidder. The items include tubers of yam, livestock, cattle, clothes, kitchen utensils, bicycles, motorcycles and whatever item the parishioners came to church with. A goat could be sold for twenty times the market value to the cheering   of parishioners or  in rare cases at the market price especially minutes before the end of the bazaar. The money realized is used to further the work of the Gospel.
 
The Nigerian Northern Elites have auctioned their greatest chances to reclaim the presidency they lost during the Obasanjo era. Some northern militaricians led by former military president Ibrahim Babangida repackaged Obasanjo for a puppetist agenda in 1998 banking on their knowledge of the former Head of state – fearful, loyal, subservient and they never bargained that Obasanjo would want to be his own man. Years in Maidugeri prison have turned the former Head of State to another personality  as he saw himself as the second Mandela of Africa. Since then the north lost grip of power. The greatest chance for the north to regain power back since 2003 was in the personality of former head of state General Muhammadu Buhari.
 
In 2003 presidential elections the ruling party agreed to allocate Buhari 11 million votes in an election the foreign media had already reported Buhari as leading other aspirants with Ojukwu and Obasanjo trailing . Buhari saw votes coming to him and suddenly the votes disappeared in a twinkle when the ruling PDP rigging wonders appeared. When Nigerians wanted to revolt against the presidential charade called elections, the ANPP governors-elect from the north led by Adamu Aliero of Kebbi state  campaigned  that the aggrieved should go to court for redress. He was supported by The Nigerian Labour Congress of Oshiomhole ,who contrary to earlier affirmations, refused to bring workers out for protests.
 
The court process was another judicial exercise as all the Justices saw a most wonderful elections with just a few hitches . His own Katsina kinsman and the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammadu Uwais and his seven man panel blessed the electoral  fraud with holy piousness.
 
In 2007 Buhari came again for the presidency. His greatest enemy was Sanni Yerima , the governor of Zamfara State who introduced Sharia to Nigeria. Governor Yerima with his counterparts in the ANPP so much ganged up against Buhari’s presidential ambition that it took only intelligence reports that the PDP would prefer a Yerima candidacy to that of Buhari for the former governor to step down.  Yerima then took a pound of flesh by imposing Edwin Ume-Ezeoke as the running mate against Buhari’s preferred choice of Mike Ahamba. Immediately after the fraudulent 2007 election was over Yerima and Ume-Ezeoke abandoned Buhari and scrambled to submit names to the Yar’adua government for patronage and appointments to the cheering of his northern brothers in the ANPP. Seven man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court handled the case , the three from the north namely Justice Idris Kutigi, Katsina-alu and Dahiru Mustapha and Niki Tobi from the south south saw nothing wrong in the fraud while George  Oguntade led other two justices from the south to reject the forgery in a minority judgment. In fact it was the justices from the south that always made futile attempts to salvage the case of  the general while their northern colleagues followed the ruling party starting from rtd Justice Nsofor.
 
In 2011 , a man that rode on Buhari’s back to become governor in kano state, Ibrahim Shekarau, started challenging him. In fact Shekarau drove Buhari out of ANPP and the general had to form his own party , months to the presidential elections. During the presidential campaign eighty percent of funds of the Goodluck –Sambo campaign organization went to the pockets of the northern elites including traditional rulers, opinion leaders and religious leaders. They helped President Goodluck get the mandatory 25% votes in 2/3 states of the federation. It was a charade of securing 25% votes for Goodluck in core northern states. In fact most states of the core north  did not display the posters of Goodluck except on the eve of every President campaign  and the posters disappeared  as quickly as Goodluck leaves the states. There was no radio jingles, nothing to show that another candidate existed but when the results was coming President Goodluck was getting 25% and above in many areas. The northern elites colluded with the ruling party to avoid a run-off election and as such securing the 25% in as many northern states as possible was the major task. Those purchased for the assignment did it without caution and the voter’s suspicion of high level collusion triggered the post election violence.
 
The funds to used to purchase northern elites were drawn from PPMC, PPPRA, FIRS, Customs, MDAs. Ministers were ordered to mobilize money from their ministries for the purchase. The FCDA released the N7billion naira meant for the vice presidents mansion for this merchandise. When the senators led by Smart Adeyemi recently raised hell about the whereabouts of the money and were told how it vanished, the case died off as a family affair. Northern elites in the past have accused the Igbo politicians of being money conscious but the 2011 presidential elections showed that abundant greed resides in the north more than any part of the country.
 
Buhari’s attempt to get justice again was truncated by northern justices in the Supreme Court. They initially plotted the removal of uncompromising Salami, from the south west as the President of the Court of Appeal and went on to bury the general in their subsequent judgments which refused to admit audit  of electoral materials.
 
The problem of the north is the north. Had Shekarau availed Buhari of the funds he used to prosecute his presidential campaign, the general would have penetrated the south. General Buhari’s campaign organization suffered severe cash crunch that they couldn’t even pay for party agents to represent them in the polls in some states in the south . where they paid agents, the sum was paltry that the ruling party had a field day inflating votes. Shekarau chased Buhari out of the ANPP and appointed himself a presidential candidate and all his party could get was 917,000 votes while the man he chased away got 12, 214, 000 votes in his new party, CPC. What an irony.
 
If the northern elites had supported  Muhammadu Buhari , the election wouldn’t be that easy for the ruling PDP, but alas they elected to fill their pocket to the brim at the expense of the north.  Like Judas Iscariot in the Bible who sold his master Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver and later on returned the money and committed suicide in Matthew chapter 26:vs 14-16 the northern elites have sold their political future for a mess of billions of dollars, pounds, euro and naira and as such have led the north into a state of political hara-kiri .
 
Obinna Akukwe
Financial/ IT consultant.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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