Sunday, 25 October 2015

How much do countries spend on education, per capita?

During the recent #FeesMustFall campaign here in South Africa, I wanted to know how much we spend on education, per head, and to compare that figure with other countries' spending. Wikipedia has a list of spending as a percentage of GDP, and a list of countries by GDP per capita, but I didn't find one of spending on education, per capita.

Multiplying the values from each list (I took the UN values for GDP) gave me the result I wanted. I did this with a little Perl script that started off as an attempted one-liner at the shell prompt, but turned out to outgrow that space.

Some highlights from the full list:

1 Monaco: 14216.914 2 Norway: 7043.848 3 Denmark: 4673.838 4 Switzerland: 4412.408 5 Sweden: 3997.356 6 Qatar: 3827.432 ... 12 United States: 2881.56 13 Trinidad and Tobago: 2845.44 ... 21 United Kingdom: 2333.265 22 Israel: 2224.536 23 Germany: 2029.095 24 Kuwait: 1983.524 ... 39 Argentina: 959.4 40 Cuba: 949.96 41 Estonia: 927.744 42 Maldives: 920.64 43 Suriname: 884.34 44 Greece: 870.72 ... 54 Poland: 674.24 55 Botswana: 650.768 56 Slovakia: 645.408 57 Costa Rica: 641.655 58 Croatia: 620.54 59 Brazil: 571.149 ... 69 Gabon: 385.738 70 Kazakhstan: 382.2 71 Romania: 380.679 72 Colombia: 375.648 73 South Africa: 374.544 74 Antigua and Barbuda: 372.33 75 Namibia: 349.568 ... 81 Mauritius: 306.976 82 Tunisia: 302.673 83 Iran: 299.061 ... 97 Swaziland: 219.882 (go go go King Mswati! Maybe if you reduce that a bit more you can have a few more virgins!) ... 115 Lesotho: 133.3 ... 136 Cameroon: 49.173 137 India: 47.988 138 Zimbabwe: 43.838 (wow Bob, so uplifting of your people - but at least you have your land, right?) ... 167 Somalia: 0.532
It's a bit depressing. SA's GDP per capita is close to Cuba's, but they significantly outspend us on education. Botswana too, to a lesser degree. I guess we're too busy bailing out delinquent state-owned enterprises that were de rigueur last century. So we "can't afford" to spend more on education. And a fleet of nuclear power stations is just so much sexier than a more productive workforce, right?

No comments:

Post a comment