most educated countries

The 10 Most Educated Countries In The World

Education is obviously what we know best, but do you know where it’s ‘best’?

Newsweek has ranked the most educated countries in 2021. Each country is ranked according to the percentage of its population with the highest level of education.

To clarify, we don’t equate level of education with level of intelligence and wisdom, though there may be correlations. This list can serve as a discussion point for making connections between access to education and socioeconomic status, race, and other demographics that correlate to higher education attainment. We’ve included a few economic, political, and educational facts retrieved from the most up-to-date information in the CIA World Factbook.

10. The United Kingdom (51.8%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $2.798 trillion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $41,600 (2020)
Government type: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Education expenditures: 5.2% (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #55
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
17 (male); 18 (female)

9. Austria (52.5%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $463.1 billion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $51,900 (2020)
Government type: federal parliamentary republic
Education expenditures: 5.2% (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #53
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
16 (male); 16 (female)

8. Switzerland (52.7%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $590.7 billion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $68,400 (2020)
Government type: federal republic
Education expenditures: 4.9% of GDP (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #71
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
17 (male); 16 (female)

7. Luxembourg (55%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $69.72 billion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $110,300 (2020)
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Education expenditures: 3.7% of GDP (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #114
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary): 14 (male); 14 (female)

6. Lithuania (55.2%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $102.7 billion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $36,700 (2020)
Government type: semi-presidential republic
Education expenditures: 3.9% of GDP (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #109
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary): 16 (male); 17 (female)

5. Ireland (55.4%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $448 billion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $89,700 (2020)
Government type: parliamentary republic
Education expenditures: 3.4% of GDP (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #130
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
19 (male); 20 (female)

4. Japan (61.5%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $5.231 trillion (2019)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $41,430 (2019)
Government type: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Education expenditures: 3.2% (2017)
Country comparison to the world: 140
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
15 (male); 15 (female)

3. Russia (62.1%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $3.876 trillion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $26,500 (2020)
Government type: semi-presidential federation
Education expenditures: 4.7% (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #77
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
16 (male); 16 (female)

2. Canada (63%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $1.743 trillion (2020 est.)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $45,900 (2020 est.)
Government type: federal parliamentary democracy
Education expenditures: 5.3% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: #48
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary): 16 years (male); 17 years (female)

1. South Korea (69.8%)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $2.188 trillion (2020)
GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $42,300 (2020)
Government type: presidential republic
Education expenditures: 4.5% of GDP (2018)
Country comparison to the world: #84
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary):
17 (male); 16 (female)

Readers may notice that the United States is not on the list — according to Newsweek, they rank in at #11. After reviewing this list, what conclusions might you be able to make about the top 10 most educated countries in the world?