Israel ranks 2nd in ‘world’s most educated countries’

Study: 46% of Israeli residents had a tertiary education versus 31% for the OECD.

Israel ranked second in an international survey looking at the world’s Top 10 countries with the highest proportion of college-educated adult residents. Israel recorded 46 percent of its population completing a tertiary education, just five percent behind top-rated Canada.

Israel tops in education. (

Based on research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 24/7 Wall St — a Delaware corporation set up to run a financial news and opinion operation with content delivered over the Internet – compiled a list of the 10 most educated countries in the world.

Canada was the only nation where more than half its residents – 51% — completed college degrees.

Israel slotted into an impressive second place on the list followed by Japan, United States, New Zealand, South Korea, United Kingdom, Finland, Australia and Ireland.

The list was based on the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2012 report which calculated the proportion of residents with a college or college equivalent degree in the group’s 34 member nations and other major economies.

The study showed that the best educated countries tended to spend the most on tertiary education as a percentage of gross domestic product.

The OECD revealed that in 2010 (the year Israel joined the organization) its GDP per capita was more than $7,000 below the group’s average. Yet, the country’s high school graduation rate was 92% in 2010 – far above the OECD’s 84% average.

Moreover, some 46% of Israeli residents had a tertiary education as opposed to 31% for the OECD average.

The report also showed that Israel spent 7.2% of GDP on educational institutions in 2009, the sixth most among all nations.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.
  • Andrey Barkov

    I’m sure that there are Israeli arabs who pull it down to the 2nd place. Otherwise it will be in the 1st one.

  • hcir

    Israel deserves enormous credit for its accomplishments, and not only in education. I hope that, in order to maintain this educational accomplishment, Israel’s education authorities address any weaknesses that threaten this success.

    For example, according to the cited 2012 OECD report, Israel is one of the countries that “may find that an increasing number of countries approach or surpass their levels of tertiary attainment in the coming years,” because its 25-34 year-olds are lagging behind the average for all 25-64 year-olds in tertiary education. This is borne out also in the OECD’s “Education at a Glance 2013″ report, in which Japan has advanced to a tie with Israel for the same 46% of residents with a tertiary education.

    In both the 2012 and 2013 OECD reports, Israel’s 25-34 year-olds lagged 5 percentage points behind the 35-44 year-olds in tertiary attainment; in contrast, almost every other country showed an increased tertiary attainment for the youngest age group, and only one country had a worse shortfall in that generational comparison.

  • James May

    There is a reason why isreal along with Canada ranks top for education.