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Projections of Educational Attainment by Country

Using the estimates on school enrollment and population structure, we have constructed projections of educational attainment for the population, disaggregated by gender and age group (15–24, 25–64, and 15–64) for 146 countries from 2015 to 2040 at five-year intervals.

We first use the 2010 data on educational attainment by age group as benchmark figures to project the educational attainment of the population by age group for the next three decades. We then estimate the distribution of educational attainment for the younger population, aged 15-24, at the five-year intervals from 2015 to 2040 and then forward-extrapolate the estimates to construct the distribution of educational attainment for the older population groups. For the population structure, we use existing U.N. projections. For the detailed explanation of the estimation method, see Barro and Lee (2015, chapter 3).

Download the list of variables and countries in the dataset.

Full Dataset Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-64, 2015-2040

Download data for total, female and male population aged 15-64 in dta, xls, or csv format.

Total population, aged 15-64.

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Female population, aged 15-64.

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Male population, aged 15-64.

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Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-24, 2015-2040

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Total population, aged 15-24.

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Female population, aged 15-24.

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Male population, aged 15-24.

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Education Attainment for Population Aged 25-64, 2015-2040

Download data for total, female and male population aged 25-64 in dta, xls, or csv format.

Total population, aged 25-64.

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Female population, aged 25-64.

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Male population, aged 25-64.

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Data Sources

We have compiled all available enrollment ratios for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels for the 89 countries from 1820 to 1945 at five-year intervals using the various sources. Where necessary, the underlying data were applied to the nearest five-year date.

Available compendia (Banks and Wilson, 2013; Mitchell, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c; UNESCO, 1958, 1961, 1966; Benavot and Riddle, 1988; Lindert, 2004) provide historical enrollment statistics for many independent states and colonies. Additional historical statistics, especially those on female enrollment, are available from the US Bureau of Education’s Report of the Commissioner of Education (various years), Barnard (1854), and Monroe (1911). We have also compiled data from other sources, including national statistical publications. The historical estimates for 1820–1945 are combined with information from UNESCO publications since 1950 to get a full time series on enrollment ratios up to 2010.

Banks, A.S., & Wilson, K.A. 2013. Cross-national time-series data archive. Jerusalem: Databanks International. http://www.databanksinternational.com

Barnard, H. 1854. National education in Europe: being an account of the organization, administration, instruction and statistics of public schools of different grades in the principal states. New York: C.B. Norton

Benavot, A., & Riddle, P. 1988. The Expansion of Primary Education, 1870–1940: Trends and Issues. Sociology of Education, 61(3), 191–210.

Lindert, P. 2004. Growing public. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Mitchell, B. R. 2003a. International historical statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750–2000 (4th ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mitchell, B. R. 2003b. International historical statistics: The Americas, 1750–2000 (5th ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mitchell, B. R. 2003c. International historical statistics: Europe, 1750–2000 (5th ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan

Monroe, P. 1911. A cyclopedia of education. New York: The Macmillan Company

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 1958. World survey of education II: Primary education. Paris: UNESCO.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 1961. World survey of education III: Secondary education. Paris: UNESCO.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 1966. World survey of education IV: Tertiary education. Paris: UNESCO

U.S. Bureau of Education. Various years. Report of the commissioner of education. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office

Data Set on Long-term Enrollment Ratios by Country

We construct a complete data set of historical enrollment ratios, subdivided by education level and gender, for 89 countries from 1820 to 1945 at five-year intervals. The original historical data on school enrollments are compiled from various sources. See data sources.

We construct estimates for a significant number of missing cells, especially in the cases of developing countries or former colonies by using interpolation and extrapolation techniques as explained in details in Barro and Lee (2015, chapter 2) and Lee J. and H. Lee (2015). The historical estimates for 1820–1945 are combined with information from UNESCO publications since 1950 to get a full time series on enrollment ratios up to 2010.

Download the list of variables and countries in the dataset.

The figures for trend in schoolenrollments, disaggregated by education level and gender, for individual countries from 1820 to 2010 are also downloadable. Every marker in the figures indicates the availability of the original enrollment data for the specific year in the individual countries.

Full Dataset

Enrollment Ratios by Level, 1820-2010

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Total population

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Female population

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Male population

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Trends in Enrollments Ratios by Country

Download figures for trend in school enrollments, disaggregated by education level and gender, for individual countries from 1820 to 2010 in pdf format.

PDF

List of Countries

AlbaniaGreecePanama
AlgeriaGuatemalaParaguay
ArgentinaGuyanaPeru
AustraliaHondurasPhilippines
AustriaHong Kong, ChinaPoland
BarbadosHungaryPortugal
BelgiumIndiaRepublic of Korea
BeninIndonesiaReunion
BoliviaIranRussian Federation
BrazilIraqSenegal
BulgariaIrelandSierra Leone
CambodiaItalySouth Africa
CameroonJamaicaSpain
CanadaJapanSri Lanka
ChileKenyaSudan
ChinaLuxembourgSweden
ColombiaMalawiSwitzerland
Costa RicaMalaysiaSyria
Cote dIvoireMaliTaiwan
CubaMaltaThailand
DenmarkMauritiusTrinidad and Tobago
Dominican Rep.MexicoTunisia
EcuadorMoroccoTurkey
EgyptMozambiqueUganda
El SalvadorMyanmarUnited Kingdom
FijiNetherlandsUruguay
FinlandNew ZealandUSA
FranceNicaraguaVenezuela
GermanyNigerZimbabwe
GhanaNorway

By region and group

Advanced Economies (23)Eastern Europe (5)Sub-Saharan Africa (17)
AustraliaAlbaniaBenin
AustriaBulgariaCameroon
BelgiumHungaryCote dIvoire
CanadaPolandGhana
DenmarkRussian FederationKenya
FinlandMalawi
FranceLatin America (23)Mali
GermanyArgentinaMauritius
GreeceBarbadosMozambique
IrelandBoliviaNiger
ItalyBrazilReunion
JapanChileSenegal
LuxembourgColombiaSierra Leone
NetherlandsCosta RicaSouth Africa
New ZealandCubaSudan
NorwayDominican Rep.Uganda
PortugalEcuadorZimbabwe
SpainEl Salvador
SwedenGuatemala
SwitzerlandGuyana
TurkeyHonduras
United KingdomJamaica
USAMexico
Nicaragua
Asia and the Pacific (13)Panama
CambodiaParaguay
ChinaPeru
FijiTrinidad and Tobago
Hong Kong, ChinaUruguay
IndiaVenezuela
Indonesia
MalaysiaMiddle East and North Africa (8)
MyanmarAlgeria
PhilippinesEgypt
Republic of KoreaIran
Sri LankaIraq
TaiwanMalta
ThailandMorocco
Syria
Tunisia

Definition of Variables

Enrollment Ratios

The full dataset on enrollments contains the following variables:

VariableDescription
BLcodeBarro-Lee Country Code
WBcodeWorld Bank Country Code
region_codeRegion Code
countryCountry Name
yearYear
sexSex
priadPrimary adjusted enrollment ratio
secadSecondary adjusted enrollment ratio
terTertiary gross enrollment ratio

Education Attainment

The full dataset on estimated educational attainment contains the following variables:

VariableDescription
BLcodeBarro-Lee Country Code
WBcodeWorld Bank Country Code
region_codeRegion Code
countryCountry Name
yearYear
sexSex
agefromStarting Age
agetoFinishing Age
luPercentage of No Schooling Attained in Pop.
lpPercentage of Primary Schooling Attained in Pop.
lpcPercentage of Complete Primary Schooling Attained in Pop.
lsPercentage of Secondary Schooling Attained in Pop.
lscPercentage of Complete Secondary Schooling Attained in Pop.
lhPercentage of Tertiary Schooling Attained in Pop.
lhcPercentage of Complete Tertiary Schooling Attained in Pop.
yr_schAverage Years of Schooling Attained
yr_sch_priAverage Years of Primary Schooling Attained
yr_sch_secAverage Years of Secondary Schooling Attained
yr_sch_terAverage Years of Tertirary Schooling Attained
popPopulation

Data Set on Long-term Educational Attainment by Country

By utilizing the estimates of historical enrollment ratios from the 1820–1945 period, as well as the available census data and estimates of educational attainment by age for the 1950–2010 period, we have constructed a complete data set of estimates of educational attainment for the total and female populations at the five-year intervals from 1870 to 1945 for 89 countries. For the detailed explanation of the estimation method, see Barro and Lee (2015, chapter 2).

Combining this data set with existing data from Barro and Lee (2013), the data set presents estimates of educate ional attainment, classified by age group (15–24, 25–64, and 15–64) and by gender, for 89 countries from 1870 to 2010 at five-year intervals.

Download the list of variables and countries in the dataset.

Full Dataset

Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-64, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 15-64 in dta, xls, or csv format.

Total population, aged 15-64.

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Female population, aged 15-64.

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Male population, aged 15-64.

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Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-24, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 15-24 in dta, xls, or csv format.

Total population, aged 15-24.

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Female population, aged 15-24.

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Male population, aged 15-24.

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Education Attainment for Population Aged 25-64, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 25-64 in dta, xls, or csv format.

Total population, aged 25-64.

Stata Excel csv

Female population, aged 25-64.

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Male population, aged 25-64.

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Trends in Educational Attainment by Country Average Years of Schooling for Population Aged 15-24, 1870-2010

Download figures for total, female and male population aged 15-24 in pdf format.

PDF

Average Years of Schooling for Population Aged 25-64, 1870-2010

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PDF

Lee and Lee Long-Run Education Dataset

Complete Data Set

Stata

Enrollment Ratios by Level, 1820-2010

Download data for total, female and male population in xls format.

Total population
Excel

Female population
Excel

Male population
Excel

Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-64, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 15-64 in xls format.

Total population, aged 15-64.
Excel

Female population, aged 15-64.
Excel

Male population, aged 15-64.
Excel

Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-24, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 15-24 in xls format.

Total population, aged 15-24.
Excel

Female population, aged 15-24.
Excel

Male population, aged 15-24.
Excel

Education Attainment for Population Aged 25-64, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 25-64 in xls format.

Total population, aged 25-64.
Excel

Female population, aged 25-64.
Excel

Male population, aged 25-64.
Excel

Human Capital Stock for Population Aged 15-64, 1870-2010

Download data for total, female and male population aged 15-64 in xls format.

Total population, aged 15-64.
Excel

Female population, aged 15-64.
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Male population, aged 15-64.
Excel

Lee and Lee Long-Run Education Dataset

Trends in Enrollment Ratios and Educational Attainment by Country

Enrollment Ratios by Level, 1820-2010

Download figures for total, female and male population in pdf format.

PDF

Average Years of Schooling for Population Aged 15-64, 1870-2010

Download figures for total, female and male population aged 15-64 in pdf format.

PDF

Average Years of Schooling for Population Aged 15-24, 1870-2010

Download figures for total, female and male population aged 15-24 in pdf format.

PDF

Average Years of Schooling for Population Aged 25-64, 1870-2010

Download figures for total, female and male population aged 25-64 in pdf format.

PDF

2021 September Update: The new update of the Barro-Lee data set is now available.

Barro-Lee Estimates of Educational Attainment for the Population Aged 15-64 from 1950 to 2015

This is the latest updated version of the Barro-Lee dataset reported in Barro and Lee (2013). Dr. Hanol Lee, an associate professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, has collaborated on the project.

The main aim of this new version is to construct estimates of educational attainment for the population between 15 and 64 years old for the year of 2015. The estimates are disaggregated by gender and by 10-year age group, whereas those in the original dataset were disaggregated by 5-year age group. This is due to the limited availability of disaggregated statistics in the newly complied census/survey data. The methodology to construct the estimates for the year of 2015 is as follows:

  • We collect new census/survey figures on educational attainment of the population for 2015 (or a near year). They include a total of 96 observations among the sample of 146 countries. The census/survey data are compiled from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics, United Nations (UN) demographic yearbook, Eurostat, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and national statistics agencies. The following table provides detailed information on the source of the observations.
  • The data availability (i.e., structure of the census/survey figures) varies by the source. The Eurostat and UN demographic yearbook report the distribution of educational attainment for the population between 15 and 64, which can be disaggregated by 10-year age groups. On the other hand, OECD database presents the distribution of educational attainment for the population aged 25-64, disaggregated by age groups. UNESCO reports only aggregate statistics for the population aged 25 and over. Most census/survey figures report the distribution of educational attainment by schooling level following the UNESCO’s “International Standard Classification of Education” (ISCED)—that is, four broad-level classifications—no formal education, primary, secondary, and tertiary education—and then the breakdown of primary, secondary, and tertiary education into subcategories. But Eurostat and OECD provide numbers only a combination of several categories.
  • We fill in missing observations in all 20 categories (5 age groups × 4 education levels) for each country for the year of 2015 to construct complete estimates of educational attainment for the population aged 15-64 from 1950 to 2015, disaggregated by 10-year age groups (15-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64). We first fill in the missing observations at four broad classifications by adopting the ‘forward extrapolation method’ which uses the census/survey figures in 2010 or an earlier year as a benchmark. We then apply estimates of completion ratios to break down the estimate in broad categories and fill in the observations that are missing in subcategories.
  • We use the updated information on school enrollment ratios, drop-out ratio, and population structure for the estimation of educational attainment of the population.

We combine these updated estimates for 2015 with the original Barro-Lee data set from 1950 to 2010 and present a new data set of educational attainment for the population aged 15-64 from 1950 to 2015, disaggregated by 10-year age groups (15-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64).

  • We also collect 7 new censuses on educational attainment of the population for earlier years from the UN Demographic Yearbook. They consist of two countries in 2005 (Egypt and New Zealand), and five countries in 2010 (Argentina, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Saudi Arabia). In addition, we collect 3 new observations for Iceland in 2000, 2005 and 2010 from Eurostat. Accordingly, we revise the original Barro-Lee estimates for these countries through backward extrapolation incorporating these newly available censuses. Information from these censuses is also utilized for the estimation of the figure for 2015 through forward extrapolation, when necessary.

Note: The dataset below includes the revised estimates for USA in 2015. The new estimates are based on the US Current Population Survey (CPS) in 2015. The earlier version (released on September 2021) included the US estimates in 2015 based on the OECD source. The revised data for the USA is here.

Data

Download full data set (146 countries) for the Population aged 15-64, aged 25-64 or by 10-year age group in 10-year interval (1950-2015) in xls, csv, or dta format.

Education Attainment for Population Aged 15-64

Total population

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Female population

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Male population

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Education Attainment for Population Aged 25-64

Total population

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Female population

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Male population

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Education Attainment by Age Group

Total population

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Female population

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Male population

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2018 6 June Update

In the version 2.1, there were minor mistakes in the estimates for 10 countries (Albania, Bolivia, Cameroon, Dominican Rep., Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden). The data set of version 2.2, which reflects the corrections, replaces the version 2.1 and is available at the data page.