The education gap between the richest and poorest within developing countries
GLOBAL public spending on education rose from a median 4.5% of GDP in 1999 to 4.9% in 2006, according to a new report by UNESCO, the UN’s education agency. The poorest countries invested 3.5%, compared with 5.6% by the slightly richer middle income countries, and 5.3% by developed countries. But spending money wisely also matters. Huge inequalities exist between the richest and poorest within many countries. In India, a 17-22 year old in the richest quintile has had an average of 11.1 years in education, compared with only 4.4 years for those in the poorest quintile. This gap is also big in Peru and the Philippines. The difference in Bangladesh is similar to that in Nicargaua, a much richer country, showing it is using resources more effectively.