How Educated is the World?
Education vs Age in the Modern World
Competitiveness of countries, and their standard of living, has historically been driven by education. This relationship may not be as strong in the future—my view is that higher education isn't as big of a distinguishing factor as it was in the past—but very-low education still prevents certain countries from competing on the world market.
The chart below from McKinsey Global Institute shows education vs age for key countries. It is obvious that the higher-educated countries are older. It's not clear to me if this is due to lower-educated populations having lower lifespans and/or having more kids. Those scoring low on the education scale are, as expected, poorer as well.
(click for larger image)
(source: "The world at work: Jobs, pay, and skills for 3.5 billion people," McKinsey Global Institute. June 2012)