U.S. College Grads to be Dwarfed by China/India

Americans have long held the greatest share of the number of college graduates but China and India are well on their way towards overtaking the U.S.

What’s the Latest Development?


The United States has dominated the global market for college graduates for several decades but that trend is changing. According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, both China and India have been increasing their share of the total number of college graduates and that trend will continue to increase in the future. According to their data, The U.S. went from a 23.8 percent stake of college graduates in 2000 to 20.6 percent in 2010. In that same period of time, India went up from 6.5 to 7.1 percent and China jumped from 9 to 11.1 percent.

What’s the Big Idea?

Projections from the study show 2020 numbers continuing in the same direction, with the U.S. dropping to 17.8 percent of the total share of graduates and India and China climbing respectively to 7.7 and 13.4 percent. As the populations of China and India grow exponentially, so do the their countries’ competitiveness. “[Economic] research consistently points to education and broader human capital investments as the most important drivers of economic progress over time." "The sheer population sizes of China and India mean that relatively soon they will match the United States in the number of skilled-workers competing in globally-mobile industries."

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