If we are to solve the biggest problems of our time — from climate change and food security to nuclear non-proliferation — we’re going to need more scientists.
That’s partly why the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tracks new college degrees in 40 of the world’s most advanced countries.
Now the group has released its 2015 Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard report, which includes data up to 2012.
The ranking is based on the percentage of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees awarded per capita so that it’s a fair comparison between countries with different populations. For example, Spain ranked 11th by awarding 24% of its degrees in the natural sciences or engineering.
I- Word Understanding
Scoreboard– graphical representation of the progress over time
Per capita– per unit of population; per person
II- Have your say
Here’s how 5 of the smartest countries in the world stack up when it comes to science degrees
1. South Korea (32%) had the top 10’s largest drop, from 39% in 2002, even though the country retained its position at the top of the OECD’s list.
2. Germany (31%) had the third-highest average annual raw number of STEM graduates at about 10,000, right behind the US and China — despite those countries’ much larger populations.
3. Sweden (28%) is just behind Norway for most computer use at work, including for applications like programming. Over three-quarters of workers use computers at their jobs.
4. Finland (28%) publishes more research about medicine than in any other field.
5. In France (27%), most researchers are employed by industry rather than the government or universities.