New Education at a Glance Report Looks at Education Systems of OECD Countries

Washington, D.C. – The American Institutes for Research (AIR) played a key role in developing Education at a Glance 2013, a report produced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report analyzes the education systems of the 34 OECD member countries and eight partner countries.

Education at a Glance provides available comparative data on education in OECD and non-OECD countries and covers a wide array of topics including: participation in early childhood education programs, pay and work hours for public school teachers, high school graduation rates, college attendance and graduation rates, expenditures for education, and employment outcomes.

AIR analysts were involved in: submission of the U.S. data in the report; contributions to the development of the indicators, including providing expertise on social outcomes of education; review of draft text, tables, and figures; and preparation of briefing materials for the report’s release.

Among many findings, this year’s report shows that:

  • In 2011, about 43 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds had a postsecondary degree in the United States, the 12th highest proportion among 34 OECD and two partner countries. The percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds in the United States with a degree (42 percent) was the fifth highest after Canada, Israel, Japan and the Russian Federation.
  • Half of U.S. 3-year-olds and the majority of 4- to 6-year-olds were enrolled in pre-primary or primary education programs in 2011.
  • In terms of expenditure per student in 2010, the United States was among the highest spending countries at the elementary/secondary level ($11,800) and was the highest at the postsecondary level ($25,600 including research and development activities). The OECD averages were $8,600 and $13,500, respectively.
  • In 2011, the proportions of adults who smoked daily in the United States and in the OECD on average decreased as the level of education increased. Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults who had not completed high school smoked daily, followed by those with a high school education (29 percent) and those with a postsecondary education (12 percent).
  • In the United States, 25 percent of adults with a postsecondary education were obese in 2011, compared with 36 percent for individuals with a high school education and 35 percent for those with less than a high school education.

The full report is available online at

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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