Thursday, October 19, 2006

EU = Mississippi?

I find these education statistics for selected OECD countries very interesting, you can find the complete data set here.

For example, I had no idea that only about 50% of the adult population in countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain finish high school, and only about 1/4 of the adult population in countries like Turkey, Portugal and Mexico finish high school!

Further, the US has close to twice as many college graduates in percentage terms compared to UK, France, Switzerland, and Spain; more than twice as many college graduates as Germany, Netherlands, and Mexico; and almost three times as many college graduates as Greece, Italy, Turkey and Portugal.

That probably explains why a recent study by a
Swedish public policy group found that if the European Union were a state in the USA, it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. And in fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries than in most of the individual American states.

This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia.

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