Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Top Ten Most Educated Countries in the World

The Top Ten Most Educated Countries in the World

College graduation rates continued to improve around the world during the recession, according to a recent international economic study. In more developed countries, the percentage of adults with the equivalent of a college degree rose to more than 30% in 2010. In the United States, it was more than 40%, which is among the highest percentages in the world. However, improvements in higher education are harder to achieve in these countries. More developed economies have had the most educated populations for some time. While these countries have steadily increased education rates, the increases have been modest compared to developing economies. At just above 1%, the U.S. has had one of the smallest annual growth rates for higher education since 1997. In Poland, an emerging market, the annualized rate was 7.2% from 1997 to 2010.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Education at a Glance 2012 report calculated the proportion of residents with a college or college equivalent degree in the group’s 34 member nations and other major economies. Based on the report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 countries with the highest proportion of adults with a college degree.

The majority of countries that spend the most on education have the most educated populations. As in previous years, the best educated countries tend to spend the most on tertiary education as a percentage of gross domestic product. The United States and Canada, among the most educated countries, spend the first and third most respectively.

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Among the 10 countries with the highest proportion of educated adults, unemployment rates for those with a college equivalent ranged from 2.8% in Australia to 5.4% in the Canada. In each country, the rate remained lower than that country’s national average. The OECD provided information on the percentage of residents aged 25 to 64 with a tertiary education for each of its 34 member countries, as well as for eight other nations. 2010 statistics on educational attainment, graduation rates, GDP per capita and unemployment rates also were provided by the OECD. The latest figures covering country-level education expenditure are from 2009. These are some most educated countries in the world after the break...

01. Canada

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 51%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 2.4% (5th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $39,050 (11th highest)

Canada is the only nation where more than half of all adults had a tertiary education in 2010. This was up from 40% of the adult population in 2000, when the country also ranked as the world’s most educated. Canada has managed to become a world leader in education without being a leader in education spending, which totaled just 6.1% of GDP in 2009, or less than the 6.3% average for the OECD. A large amount of its spending went towards tertiary education, on which the country spent 2.5% of GDP, trailing only the United States and South Korea. One of the few areas Canada did not perform well in was attracting international students, who made up just 6.6% of all tertiary students — lower than the OECD’s 8% average.

02. Israel

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 46%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): N/A
> GDP per capita: $26,531 (13th lowest)

Israel only joined the OECD in 2010. That year, its GDP per capita was more than $7,000 below the OECD’s average. Despite this, the country’s high school graduation rate was 92% in 2010, well above the OECD’s 84% average. Some 46% of residents had a tertiary education, versus 31% for the OECD. Israel spent 7.2% of GDP on educational institutions in 2009, the sixth most among all nations. And for the first time, preschool education will become free in 2012 even for children as young as three years old, Haaretz newspaper reported. This should benefit Israel as, according to the OECD, “early childhood education is associated with better performance later on in school.”

03. Japan

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 45%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 2.9% (10th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $33,785 (18th highest)

In 2009, Japan spent 1.6% of GDP on college or college equivalent education, on par with the OECD’s average, and just 5.2% of GDP on education overall, well below the OECD’s 6.3% average. Despite its relatively light spending, the country still had a high school graduation rate of 96%, the second best among all nations in 2010, while the percentage of its population with a tertiary education was 14 percentage points higher than the OECD’s average. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, recent university graduates in Japan have struggled to find work, with 15% those graduating in the spring of 2012 neither employed nor enrolled in further education as of August.

04. United States

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 42%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 1.3% (2nd lowest)
> GDP per capita: $46,548 (4th highest)

Although the U.S. is one of just a few nations where more than 40% of people had a tertiary education in 2010, its education system is not without problems. Among the concerns, the graduation rate for upper secondary students in 2010 was 77%, well below the average rate of 84% for the OECD. Even though graduation rates were relatively low, the U.S. is one of the biggest spenders on education, with related expenditures equaling 7.3% of GDP in 2009. The U.S. was also the world’s largest spender on tertiary education in 2009, at 2.6% of GDP. The majority of funds for higher education, totaling 1.6% of GDP, came from private sources.

05. New Zealand

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 41%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 3.5% (13th highest)
> GDP per capita: $29,711 (17th lowest)

The tiny country’s population has grown 13.2% between 2000 and 2010, as has the country’s education system. The number of people with a college or college equivalent education rose from 29% to 41% over the period. The country also has become a destination of choice for international students, who made up 14.2% of tertiary students in 2010. New Zealand is also a leader in educating scientists, with 16% of students choosing a science for their field of study at the tertiary level — the highest proportion of any country.

06. South Korea

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 40%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 5.2% (6th highest)
> GDP per capita: $28,797 (16th lowest)

Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of South Koreans with a college education or more rose from 24% to 40%. In addition to being well-educated, many residents also invested considerable amounts towards their schooling. In 2009, only Iceland spent more than South Korea’s 8% of GDP. That year, no country in the study contributed more private funds for education at all levels than South Korea, at 3.1% of GDP, or for tertiary education, at 1.9%. Despite the investment, education does not appear to have a measurable impact on job seekers. The unemployment rate in 2010 for those with a tertiary degree was 3.3% — low relative to the OECD average of 4.7%, but not much lower than the 3.7% rate for all workers in the country.

07. United Kingdom

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 38%
> Average annual growth rate: 4.0% (10th highest)
> GDP per capita: $35,756 (15th highest)

Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of U.K. residents with a tertiary education rose 12 percentage points. The country’s universities are also popular among students from other nations. International students make up 16% of enrollment. The country recently has had a shift in how education is financed. While in 2000 the percentage of funds from private sources was 14.8%, it rose to 31.1% by 2009. Students also must cover more of the cost of higher education than in the past, as the cap on tuition fees was raised from 3,290 pounds to 9,000 pounds for the 2012-2013 year.

08. Finland

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 38%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 1.8% (4th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $36,307 (14th highest)

Finland spent 6.4% of its gross domestic product on education in 2009, with 97.6% of these funds coming from public sources, more than any country in the report. Between 2000 and 2010, high school graduation rates rose by just two percentage points, while the number of people with a college education or more rose by just six percentage points. As a result, Finland fell from fourth to eighth place among the world’s most educated countries. Finnish workers with a tertiary education were far more likely to be employed than those without such an education — the unemployment rate was 4.4% for residents with a degree and 8.4% for those without.

09. Australia

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 38%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 3.2% (12th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $40,790 (6th highest)

Australia is a preferred destination for many international students, which is why it should come as no surprise that they accounted for 21.2% of the country’s tertiary students in 2010, higher than every country other than Luxembourg. Finding a job in the country is not especially hard for those with a college degree. The country had an unemployment rate of just 2.8% in 2010 for workers with a tertiary degree, compared to a rate of just 5.2% for all workers.

10. Ireland

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Thinkstock> Pct. population with tertiary education: 37%
> Average annual growth rate (2000-2010): 7.3% (the highest)
> GDP per capita: $40,478 (7th highest)

From 2000 through 2010, the percentage of people with a college education or more in Ireland nearly doubled, rising at an annual average of 7.3% — faster than any country in the study. High school graduation rates also rose during that time, from 74% to 94%. Education has become especially critical for male job seekers in Ireland’s workforce, as 6.3% of men with a tertiary education were unemployed in 2010 versus 15.2% for all men nationwide.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Top Ten World’s Friendliest Countries

Top Ten World’s Friendliest Countries

01. Ireland

Centuries of turmoil, conquest, famine and subsequent immigration have certainly taken their toll on the Irish: it’s left them with a deliciously dark sense of humour and a welcoming attitude towards strangers. That famous ability of the Irish to find craic (fun times) in boom or bust times means you’re always in for a treat.
Here is the list of top ten friendliest countries of the world,
02. Samoa

What’s this? Samoa reckons they have ‘the world’s friendliest people’? Hmmm, trouble is there’s no ratifying body for such a claim, meaning the Samoans have to contend with the challenge of Fiji, which also self-applies the title. Though readers can rest assured that Samoa harbours lovely and warm people.

03. United States

Blamed for the coming of World War III, the Anti-Christ, Bon Jovi, Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, rampant street crime and noise pollution through overloud talking, Americans just take it all in their stride. Americans may be patriotic and love their country but they’ll invariably welcome you and help you get the best out of the United States.

04. Malawi

Whereas other African nations are beset by tribal war and fighting, Malawians describe themselves as ‘the friendliest people in Africa. Anyone who’s visited will know that the rare (for Africa) cohesion of the country’s ethnic groups is solid evidence for this, as is the people’s propensity to welcome you into their homes as well as their nation.

05. Fiji

Fijians have got plenty to smile about lush islands, kaleidoscopic reefs, cobalt sea, a wealth of marine life, world-class diving, romantic coastlines, awesome cuisine and they love to spread the love around. Fijians have a rep for helping all travellers feel welcome, thereby allowing you to uncover the best from this sprawling group of islands.

06. Indonesia

It’s hard to make generalisations about a country that contains so many different cultures still, a cliché you’ll hear often is that Indonesian people greet foreigners with open arms. Fact is they do, but the media limelight is stolen by the knack of their law-enforcement officers for welcoming drug dealers and bomb makers in an altogether different ritual.

07. Vietnam

Vietnam’s another country inextricably caught up in Western images and stereotypes: napalm death; tormented American soldiers; assassins hiding in the rice fields. But Vietnam put all that behind it a long time ago and is now on a drive to become the new ‘Asian’ tiger economy.

08. Thailand

Southeast Asia’s most-visited country is bound to offer up a welter of stereotypes and clichès. Here are some of them: dazzling islands and beaches; lush and balmy weather; great shopping and great food; the ‘France of Asia’. The Thai people’s gracious hospitality does indeed take some beating.

09. Scotland

Scotland’s becoming the destination for visitors to the British Isles, winning out over London. The Scots have survived English invasion, brutal weather and the pain of having the world’s worst goalkeepers. This fighting spirit against insurmountable odds has left them with an extroverted, buoyant demeanour and a blackly humorous nationalism.

10. Turkey

It’s a shame that for such a long time the Western world’s image of Turkey revolved around the drug-smuggling film Midnight Express. Thankfully, we can report the Turkish people actually have an unsurpassed reputation for hospitality. With their heavenly cuisine, dreamy coastline and historical sites, the Turks know there’s no reason to be secretive.

Top 10 Hardest Working Countries of the World

Top 10 Hardest Working Countries of the World

10. Slovenia

Average Hours Worked: 8.15

Slovenia rounds out the top 10 in terms of average hours worked among the population of OECD member states, possibly as a result of the fact that Slovenians do three hours and 51 minutes of unpaid work each day, 24 minutes more than the OECD average. Slovenia also has the lowest income inequality in OECD and the ninth – lowest relative income poverty rate at 7.8 percent of its population. Slovenia registered a big fall in infant mortality in the last generation and has the second lowest rate in the OECD of 2.1 per 1,000 live births, just after Luxembourg. But the country is rated in the highest third of the OECD for perceived corruption and the lowest third for confidence in national institutions. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) released its ‘Society at a Glance’ survey, which investigated the number of hours the population of its member countries spent in both paid and unpaid work (defined as working at home or doing volunteer work), as well as how much time people spent in leisure activities. Lets take a look at which countries are among the world’s busiest and hardest-working nations? 09 more countries after the break...

09. USA

Average Hours Worked: 8.16

According to the OECD the U.S. is only ranked ninth among the hardest working nations. However, at $31,000, the U.S. has the second – highest average household income after taxes and benefits in the OECD, after Luxembourg. But U.S. income is distributed relatively unequally, with both the fourth – highest rate of income inequality and relative poverty (17.3 percent of people are poor compared to an OECD average of 11.1 percent) in the OECD. People in the U.S. have a life expectancy of 77.9 years, lower than the OECD average of 79.3 years, despite having the highest public and private spending on health at 16 percent of GDP, considerably higher than the OECD average of 9 percent.

08. New Zealand

Average Hours Worked: 8.18

New Zealand may not be famed for its work ethic, but it actually ranks quite high. Unpaid work in New Zealand accounts for 43 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the third highest in the OECD after Australia (46 percent) and Portugal (53 percent). Along with Israel, Iceland and Turkey, New Zealand is one of only four OECD countries with a fertility rate at 2.14 children per woman, sufficient to replace the population in the coming generation.

07. China

Average Hours Worked: 8.24

The research also included non-OECD member countries such as China, India, South Africa, and Brazil because all are “enhanced engagement countries” — which means OECD members have opted to forge a more structured and coherent partnership with them. The research states that, at less than an hour, both men and women spend very little time on unpaid work in China, in comparison with other countries, particularly in terms of cooking and cleaning. Meanwhile, at 12.29 births per 1,000 of the population, China has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, equal to France and the United Kingdom. The average birth rate stands at 1.54 children per woman.

06. Austria

Average Hours Worked: 8.29

At nearly 8 1/2 hours of work per day, Austrians have the sixth – highest total time spent working – both paid and unpaid – in the OECD. (The OECD average is 8 hours.) Austria also has the fifth – lowest unemployment rate in the OECD at 4.8 percent – far lower than the average OECD rate of 8.1 percent. Austria has low income inequality and poverty rates with around 7.2 percent of the population on relatively low income or classed as being in poverty in both cases.

05. Estonia

Average Hours Worked: 8.36

At 8 hours and 36 minutes, Estonians – yes we did say Estonians – have the fifth – highest total work time in the OECD, well over the OECD average of 8 hours and 4 minutes. At 3 hours and 52 minutes, Estonians do the fourth – highest unpaid work time after Turkey, Mexico and Australia, and well above the OECD average of 3 hours and 28 minutes. However, at 14.1 percent , Estonian unemployment is also the third – highest in the OECD, six percentage points above the OECD average of 8.1 percent.

04. Canada

Average Hours Worked: 8.37

Canadians have the second – highest rate of “positive experiences” in the OECD after Iceland – feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, smiling, doing something interesting, and experiencing enjoyment. At the same time, Canadians have above OECD average “negative experiences,” such as pain, worry, sadness, stress and depression. Canada has the sixth highest proportion of its population foreign-born in the OECD at 20 percent, nearly double the OECD average of 11.7 percent.

03. Portugal

Average Hours Worked: 8.48

While some people might think that the Portuguese live a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, they in fact rank among some of the hardest – working in the world. Men do nearly two hours of unpaid work in Portugal, compared to less than an hour in other OECD countries such as Korea and Japan. The amount of time devoted to unpaid work accounts for up to 53 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the country, the highest proportion of all OECD countries, compared to 19 percent of GDP in Korea. Meanwhile, 60 percent of the Portuguese population spends time cooking and cleaning, spending the third largest amount of time on household chores at 110 minutes per day.

02. Japan

Average Hours Worked: 9

The second-hardest working nation among OECD member countries will probably come as no surprise to anybody. Japan’s adherence to its work ethic is legendary with company employees often competing to stay at work later than their colleagues to achieve promotion in many corporations, where company loyalty is demanded and where a job for life still means life. Japanese people work an average 9 – hour day while the unemployment at 5.3 percent is well below the OECD average of 8.1 percent.

01. Mexico

Average Hours Worked: 9.54

Recently, Richard Hammond of the TV program “Top Gear” managed to upset the Mexican Ambassador to the U.K. by suggesting that Mexicans were “lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight”. The OECD’s research, however, may go some way to ward redressing the balance by showing that the Mexican people are in fact the hardest working in the world, working a total of nearly 10 hours on average every day. They also have the second-highest level of income inequality and the highest level of relative poverty among OECD countries.

Information Details About The World's 15 Richest Muslim Countries

Information Details About The World's 15 Richest Muslim Countries
Note: The list is based on gross domestic product at purchasing power parity per capita, the value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given year divided by the average (or mid-year) population for the same year. Data refer mostly to the year 2011. World Development Indicators database, World Bank.] (Photo: REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal)

01. Qatar

GDP (PPP) per capita: $ 88,919 (2011)
(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

02. Kuwait

GDP (PPP) per capita: $54,654 (2011)

03. Brunei

GDP (PPP) per capita: $50,506 (2010)
(Getty Images)

04. United Arab Emirates

GDP (PPP) per capita: $48,222 (2011)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

05. Oman

GDP (PPP) per capita: $28,880 (2011)

06. Saudi Arabia

GDP (PPP) per capita: $24,434 (2011)

07. Bahrain

GDP (PPP) per capita: $23, 690 (2011)
(ThinkStock Images)

08. Turkey

GDP (PPP) per capita: $16,885 (2011)
(Getty Images)

09. Libya

GDP (PPP) per capita: $16,855 (2009)
(Note: The figures are before the popular uprising in the country)
(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

10. Malaysia

GDP (PPP) per capita: $15,589 (2011)
(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

11. Lebanon

GDP (PPP) per capita:$14,709 (2011)

12. Kazakhstan

GDP (PPP) per capita:$13,189 (2011)

13. Iran

GDP (PPP) per capita: $11,479 (2009)

14. Azerbaijan

GDP (PPP) per capita: $10,136 (2011)

15. Tunisia

GDP (PPP) per capita: $9,415 (2011)
(Getty Images)

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