The Gender Gap in Educational Attainment Worldwide by Religious Affiliation

A new report from the Pew Research Center examines the educational attainment of people around the world based on their religion. The report also breaks down the data by gender.

The data shows that Jews are the most highly educated religious group with Muslims and Hindus having the lowest level of education. Jewish adults, 25 years or older, had an average of 13.4 years of schooling. Muslim and Hindu adults only had an average of 5.6 years of schooling.

Worldwide, men had an average of 8.3 years of schooling and women had an average of 7.2 years. When broken down by religious group, Jewish women had an average of 13.4 years of schooling, by far the highest level of any religious group. Christian women worldwide had an average of 9.1 years of schooling. Hindu women had the lowest level of education, with only an average of 4.2 years of schooling.

When we examine the gender gap between men and women by religious group we find no gap whatsoever among Jewish adults with both men and women averaging 13.4 years of schooling. Women had lower levels of education in all other major religious groups. For Christian adults, men had an average of 9.5 years of schooling compared to 9.1 years for adult Christian women. The largest gender gap of almost three years was among Hindus.

If we look at only those men and women in the 25-to-34 age bracket, we find that Jewish women now have an average number of years of schooling that is higher than for Jewish men in that age group. For young Christians and Buddhists, the educational gap has nearly closed. Young Muslims and Hindus still have more than a year difference in the average number of years in school.

The full report, Religion and Education Around the World may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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