Countries Where Women Spend the Longest in School on Average

Although female children make up 48% of primary students, this number drops through secondary and tertiary education.

According to the 2014 Global Innovation Index, Australian students spend the longest time in school. On average an Australian student is likely to spend 20 years in the education system while a student in Niger spends an average of five years. New Zealand ranks second with 19 years while Iceland and Ireland rank third and fourth respectively. Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Finland complete the list of eight schools where students take more than 17 years from their primary to tertiary education.

Countries Where Women Spend the Longest in School on Average

Female Enrollment

Just like in several other key sectors of the global economy, women have also been shortchanged in the education sector. In Sub Saharan Africa, and in particular the war-torn countries of Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Congo, Chad and several others dominate the list of countries with the lowest rate of female school enrollment. According to the World Bank, 48% of students enrolled in primary education are women. However, only 37.7% of those receiving tertiary education are women. A large number of girls drop out of school due to various reasons including cultural, economic, and political reasons. The low enrollment of women in tertiary education ricochets to the labour market where men dominate in numbers and wages.

Female School Life Expectancy

Women who study progressively from the primary level to the tertiary level also tend to take longer than boys. The gender disparity is larger in better economies than in lower economies, but average school life expectancy is 12 years. Canada tops the list of countries where women on average it takes 15 years from the moment a girl enrolls for primary education to their tertiary education. Norway ranks second with 14.9 years, and South Korea Ranks third with 14.6 years. South Korea is among the countries with the highest number of graduation rate, 98% of students who enroll for college education will graduate. Sweden, Japan and the US rank joint fourth with 13.9%. For the past three years leading to 2016 more women have graduated in in the US then men. However, the US still grapples with a high number of students who drop out of school or do not graduate on time.

Female School Dropout

According to UNESCO approximately 130 million girls aged between 6 and 17 are not attending school. Fifteen million girls of primary-school age are not attending school, of which half are found in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty, child marriage, violence, and cultural beliefs are the most common factors for the high rate of non-school going girls. The World Economic Forum states that one in every ten girls in Africa drops out of school because they cannot afford sanitary pads. Cases of female dropouts are few in the developed world, but drug use and teenage pregnancy are some of the major factors that lead to school dropout among girls.

Countries Where Women Spend the Longest in School on Average

Rank´╗┐CountryAverage Years in School (Women)
1 Canada15
2 Norway14.9
3 South Korea14.6
4 Sweden13.9
5 United States13.9
6 Japan13.9
7 Czech Republic13.8
8 Israel13.8
9 Russia13.8
10 New Zealand13.6
11 United Kingdom13.6
12 Belgium13.4
13 Denmark13.4
14 Finland13.4
15 Slovakia13.3
16 Ukraine13.3
17 Bulgaria13.2
18 Ireland13.2
19 Lithuania13.2
20 Georgia13.1
21 Poland13.1
22 Romania13.1
23 Belarus13
24 Latvia13
25 Switzerland13

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