The Global Education Digest 2007 presents the latest education statistics from primary to tertiary levels in more than 200 countries. This edition focuses on the financing of education and provides a series of indicators to compare spending patterns across countries and levels of education.
Governments in sub-Saharan Africa spend only 2.4% of the world’s public education resources. Yet about 15% of the school-age population lives in these countries, according to the Digest. In contrast, the United States, which is home to just 4% of the world’s children and young people, spends 28% of the global education budget. This is mainly due to the large numbers of university students and the relatively high costs associated with this level of education.
East Asia and the Pacific has the second-highest share of global public spending on education at 18% (after the North American and Western European region). Yet governments in the region are investing considerably less than their share of global income (28% of GDP) and the school-age population (29%).
The opposite scenario is found in South and West Asia, where 7% of the world’s public education resources are spent on 28% of children and young people. A more balanced situation emerges in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region which accounts for 8% to 9% of global education spending, the school-age population and global wealth.