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How Much Do Countries Spend on Education?

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Martin Armstrong

When it comes to education, there are not only big differences in attainment levels across the world, but also the amount of a country's resources which are spent on investment in the sector. According to the OECD's latest report, Norway is one of the countries which spends the largest share of its GDP on education, at 6.7 percent when also accounting for the tertiary sector. At the other end of the scale of analyzed countries, Russia spends just 3.4 percent.

As noted in the OECD's report: "The willingness of policy makers to expand access to educational opportunities and to provide high-quality education can translate into higher costs per student and must be balanced against other demands on public expenditure and the overall tax burden. As a result, the question of whether the resources devoted to education yield adequate returns features prominently in public debate. Although it is difficult to assess the optimal resources needed to prepare each student for life and work in modern societies, international comparisons of spending on educational institutions per student can provide useful reference points".

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