|Color Coding Key|
|GREEN||Ranked 1st for statistic|
|RED||Ranked last for statistic|
The United States' ranks 3rd in tertiary attainment among the nations surveyed but ranks 4th to last in tertiary education spending as a percent of GDP per capita.
|OECD Skills Outlook||Top universities per capita|
|Tertiary attainment||Expenditure/tertiary student||Mean literacy proficiency||Mean numeracy proficiency||Think tanks||Think tanks per capita||QS Rankings||Times Rankings|
Tertiary attainment as a percent for age group 25-64 for 2011: OECD. Tertiary education is university and post-secondary vocational education.
As a percent of GDP/capita. World Development Indicators by World Bank, for most recent year (2009-11). Canada and Germany's most recent year reported was 1998 or before and is therefore irrelevant to the scope of this site.
OECD Skills Outlook 2013 is a first time report that measures the capacity for each country to adapt from low-level skilled jobs which are becoming increasingly automated with technological inovations. The test measures more timeless factors like literacy and numeracy skills as well as problem solving skills in technology-rich envrironments.
OECD SkillS Outlook 2013 literacy skills test implicates "the ability to understand and respond appropriately to written texts," for 2013. Results are determined among 5 proficiency levels, the mean score of which is shown here.
OECD SkillS Outlook 2013 numeracy skills test implicates "the ability to use numerical and mathematical concepts," for 2013. Results are determined among 5 proficiency levels, the mean score of which is shown here.
Based on JG McGann's "The Global Go-to Think Tanks," 2011, which evaluates the most effective think tanks.
Top universities per capita
Based on number of universities in the top 50 of each ranking system per 100,000,000 people. For lack of a definitive and authoritative rankings system, two different sources have been included here:
Based on academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), citations by faculty (20%), student-faculty ratio (20%), proportion of international students (5%), and proportion of international faculty (5%).
Based on the learning environment (30%), research (volume, income and reputation (30%), citations (30%), industry income (innovation, 2.5%), and International outlook (staff, students and research, 7.5%)
Innovation systems are highly impacted by public research organizations (public research instutes and research universities). The OECD, admitting the difficulty of quantifying the impact of public research but still contending that its impact is evidently significant enough, attempts to distinguish which comercialization processes and mainstream technology transfer practices are most effective. The evolving study could have broad implications on research and development.
June 25th, 2013, New York Times
"More than 70 percent of Americans matriculate at a four-year college — the seventh-highest rate among 23 developed nations for which the O.E.C.D. compiles such statistics. But less than two-thirds end up graduating. Including community colleges, the graduation rate drops to 53 percent. Only Hungary does worse."
"... [H]alf of Americans in the top fourth of the income distribution have a college degree. Among the poorest fourth of Americans, fewer than one in 10 graduated from college. And the gap is growing. The college graduation rate of high-income Americans born in the 1980s was 20 percentage points higher than in the 1960s. Among low-income Americans, it advanced only 4 percent."
September 13, 2012, The Atlantic
U.S. demonstrates inability to translate high tertiary attainment scores into jobs during rough economic times.
"University Research Funding: The United States is Behind and Falling," Robert T. Atkinson and Luke A. Stewart
May 2011, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Percent of GDP allocated from U.S. government and private sector to research and development projects in higher education decline according to 2008 figures. U.S. government-funded research expenditures as a percent of GDP only out-shone Japan among the 10 InternationalComparisons.org countries (Italy and Denmark not included) documented in the ITIF study. The U.S. spent .24% of its GDP. U.S. businesses accounted for contributions representing .020% of GDP. Both statistics are documented to be in steady decline.
NEA, Higher Education Advocate 25:3, February 2008, p. 1
- US ranks 10th in percent of 25-34 year olds with an AA degree or more.
- US is one of few nations where older adults are more educated than younger adults
- US is near the bottom in percent of entering students who complete a degree
August 6, 2010, New York Times.
According to the College Board, the United States now ranks 12th among 36 developed nations in percentage of of young people with a college degree.