Good News, Everyone!

Worldwide improvements in education.

It’s not all bad, here are a few reasons why the world is becoming a better place.

In this article I have focused on data concerning kids and education, to show that even during these tough time the world is becoming a better place, especially for the younger generations.

Worldwide literacy and Education.

Globally illiterate is falling.

Only 100 years ago 68.4% of the worlds population was illiterate. The most recent data suggest that four years ago this number had fallen to 13.75%, and it continues to fall.

I think this is one of the clearest indications that that world wide base level of education is significantly improving. Allowing us more communication and a more connected global population. 

World population by Education level

“Our world will be inhabited by more and more educated people. The projection shows that the number of people with no education will decrease continuously and that by the end of this century virtually all people in the world will have received some level of education.

In the visualization you also see that in 1970 there were only around 700 million people in the world that had secondary or post-secondary education. By the end of this century the number of people with secondary or post-secondary education will have increased 10-fold and will reach 7 billion people (a similar number as the world population today)!"

Number of people with no education.

Decreasing worldwide

The absolute number of people with no continuing to fall across most parts of the world.

Even on the African continent, where the number of uneducated people was increasing. With increasing education we now see this is expected to decrease in the coming decades. Helping to reduce inequality across the globe.

School and child mortality.

There is a very clear correlation between the average years of schooling and rates of childhood mortality. Such data implies there is a direct causal link, hence we can state that better educations and more years in school literally saves children's lives.

So those hours spent in classrooms across the world is giving longer lives to our population. In the past half of all people died in childhood. Nowadays 15,000 children still die every day, but things are getting better, with the length of time people spend in school increasing massively.

Years in School over the last century

Countries I currently, or have recently, tutored.

Here I have chosen data from some countries when I currently or have recently had students. To select your own clicking "More info" below.

Below we see how mean number of years the under 25s have spent in schooling has changed of the last century. As the globe has turned from light green to dark blue with have become a better educated species.

The Girls are catching up

Globally gender inequailty is erroding

"In some parts of the world, educating women and girls hits a lot of resistance. It’s up against social barriers, cultural norms and family tradition. But it’s winning.

This isn’t just about reading and writing. Greater literacy means greater empowerment, which means less poverty, lower crime and improved health. The gender literacy gap is set to narrow even more as access to education improves year on year, particularly in Southern Asia and Africa."

Afghanistan was the worst country for girls

20 years ago the country had the lowest rate in the world.

“Educating girls is probably the single most impactful thing we can do to make the world a better place.

Women who spend longer in school have fewer, healthier and better-fed children, are less likely to die in childbirth, contribute more towards a country’s economy, participate more in politics, and are less likely to marry young or against their will.”

More people with degrees

Enrolment in education after “regular” schooling

Tertiary education refers to any type of education pursued beyond the secondary (high school) level.

Again it is very encouraging to see more people going on to higher education, beyond secondary school level, and continuing their education into adulthood. While you don’t need a degree to show that you are smart or successful, it is still great to see that more people are getting the opportunity to study at a higher level.

Number of teachers increasing

Teaching is tough job. But thankfully the number of teacher worldwide is rising. Ensuring that future generations will be well educated.

Hopefully schools and teachers will be more valued in the future, as their absence during lockdown shows the wider benefit that teachers bring.


Dr Andrew Gibson BSc PGCE QTS MSc PhD 

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