Map: which sex receives more education worldwide?

Here’s an interesting map that should raise more questions than it answers: which sex receives more education worldwide? We’ll be dissecting and analyzing this map in this article.

Click it to enlarge:

Which sex receives more education in the world
The first question regarding the map should be its credibility. This map was not produced by any particular research institution, but by a man named Alexandr Trubetskoy who apparently has a penchant for making infographic-style maps.

I wouldn’t begrudge anyone making maps, graphs, and so forth, regarding educational data on their own, however. As this website has documented time and time again, many of the education “experts” have been out to lunch when it comes to the topic of educational equity for men and boys. So we can’t reasonably expect a wealth of presentable material from them anyway.

On a similar note, I made my own graphs regarding degrees conferred by sex, for example, from data from the National Center for Education Statistics. I made them because I searched high and low for graphs made by “the experts,” but – lo and behold – I could not find any.

Let’s look at some of the claims made about this map. According to Alexandr Trubetskoy (my comments are interspersed):

  • This map shows which gender has more years of expected education in their country.

So it’s not entirely based on what education grown men and women have received over the past several decades, but rather a rough prediction of the degree of education men and women are expected to receive, on average.

Unfortunately, no direct link to the actual data was given. Instead, the links direct us to the front pages of the CIA and UN Data websites. This is a strike against the credibility of the map: you can’t make people hunt for data through a labyrinth of links and expect it to be taken at face value. You must provide direct links to direct data.

That is not to say that the data is incorrect, however. I think the map can best be described as an approximation of the distribution of education between the sexes, rather than anything exact.

Also, briefly off-topic: is anyone else intrigued by the fact that the CIA has a “Kids Zone” on their website?


  • Generally, in developed countries, women are most likely to spend more years in education than men. A notable exception is South Korea. The opposite is generally true for low-income countries.

This should surprise no one. In countries that are very poor, traditional gender roles (such are the male provider / female child rearer role) are much more rigid and exaggerated. There are also many more barriers and limitations regarding access to birth control that tend to trap women in the child rearing role earlier in life (which also, consequently, tend to trap men in the provider role).

Never underestimate the impact of the introduction of birth control in western countries. Compelling arguments can be made that birth control is the single advancement that is the most responsible for women’s empowerment and liberation. Indeed, the radical jump in women’s education occurred around the same time as the advent and proliferation of the birth control pill (mid-60’s onward).

And let’s also remember that the birth control pill was invented by men. The same men who – we are told by Feminists – have historically wanted to do nothing but oppress women.

Trubetskoy continues:

  • Middle income countries typically have women receiving more education, or have men and women with an equal number of years.
  • France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Ireland and the Netherlands are major high-income countries where women do not typically receive more years of education than men.

Not sure I agree with everything there. I have some questions regarding the map:

  • Does Saudi Arabia really have more educated women than educated men?
  • Are Germany and Switzerland really that equal when it comes to education between the sexes?
  • Are countries like Indonesia and Malaysia really “equal” concerning education between the sexes because these countries are so advanced in terms of educational equity and human rights? Or is it instead because these countries are so poor and marginalized that they have such little education for anyone regardless of sex? In essence, are such countries educationally “equal” between the sexes only in the sense that men and women both equally have little to no education?

We already know that, in most western countries, women receive substantially more education than men do. So the map is spot-on in that regard. It also confirms a lot of hard data that we have on the matter.

We may be coming back to this map in the future. It is interesting and intriguing. Thanks to Alexandr Trubetskoy for putting it together.

Editor’s note – the above post originally appeared on the website A Voice for Male Students, and is reprinted with permission. – AL

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