40% of Global Graduates will be from India and China by 2020

OECD ( Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) published a new report on How is the global talent pool changing by analyzing the data about higher education graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 in G20.

  • The expansion of higher education in rapidly-developing G20 nations has reduced the share of tertiary graduates from Europe, Japan and the United States in the global talent pool.
  • If current trends continue, China and India will account for 40% of all young people with a tertiary education in G20 and OECD countries by the year 2020, while the United States and European Union countries will account for just over a quarter.
  • The strong demand for employees in “knowledge economy” fields suggests that the global labour market can continue to absorb the increased supply of highly-educated individuals.

Highlights from the Report

In 2010

  • 66 million 25-34 year-olds with a tertiary degree in OECD countries.
  • 64 million in non-OECD G20 countries

In 2020

The number of 25-34 year-olds from Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa with a higher education degree will be almost 40% higher than the number from all OECD countries.

Share of 25-34 year-olds with a tertiary degree across OECD and G20 countries (2000, 2010).

oced higher education report


  • According to OECD calculations, there will be more than 200 million 25-34 year-olds with higher education degrees across all OECD and G20 countries by the year 2020.
  • What’s more, 40% of them will be from China and India alone.
  • By contrast, the United States and the European Union countries are expected to account for just over a quarter of young people with tertiary degrees in OECD and G20 countries.

Science and Technology

In the same report, there is a statistics for total number of workers in a country in Science and Technology.

  • Over 40% – Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland
  • Less then 10% – India, China, and Indonesia

What this Means

Applied to the overall labor market, these findings suggest that individuals from increasingly better-educated populations will continue to have good employment outcomes, as long as economies continue to become more knowledge-based.
These findings also suggest that countries would be well-advised to pursue efforts to build their knowledge economies, in order to avoid skills mismatches and lower private and public returns on  education among their higher-educated populations in the future.

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