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World Education Rankings: Which Country Does Best at Math, Science?

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How many times have you feigned a headache or abdominal pain so that you do not have to attend the terribly boring Algebra class? Well, the question is not for the wizards residing in Singapore or Finland, because as per a recent data released by the World Economic Forum, the former has the best quality of math and science education in the world. The data, released in 2016, placed Singapore at the first spot among 139 countries. No wonder, Singaporean students of math and science subjects are some of the brightest in the world. Coming at the second spot was the European nation of Finland, which again had one of the best science and math education in the world.

Apart from Finland, the other three European countries that were placed among the top ten nations were Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, which occupied the 3rd, 4th and 7th ranks respectively. Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand were placed at the 8th, 9th and 10th spots. However, Japan and New Zealand had done remarkably well when compared to their ranking in 2015. In 2015, while New Zealand was placed at the 12th spot, Japan occupied the 21st spot. Interestingly, in the two Middle Eastern nations of Qatar and Lebanon, the quality of science and math education is one of the highest in the world. Occupying the 5th and 6th spots respectively, these nations were ahead of many European and American nations.

In spite of comprising some best universities in the world, the United States of America and the United Kingdom had not fared very high in terms of quality of maths and science education. These two nations were placed at the 44th and 46th positions respectively. Meanwhile, other popular educational destinations such as Canada and Australia were placed far ahead at the 18th and 27th ranks respectively.

Among the South Asian countries, the quality of science and math education was the best in Sri Lanka which was placed at the 25th rank. However, the bottom rank among these countries went to Pakistan which was placed at 106.

The African nation of Côte d’Ivoire was the best among the African nations occupying the 17th spot, an improvement from the 22nd position that it reported in 2015. Surprisingly, South Africa had the worst quality of science and math education and was placed at the bottom of the ladder at the 139th spot. Placed slightly better than South Africa were Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Peru and Nicaragua occupying the 138th, 137th, 136th and 135th spots.

Here is the complete list of countries, starting with the best country in the world for math and science education.

Country Rank (in 2016)
Singapore 1
Finland 2
Belgium 3
Switzerland 4
Qatar 5
Lebanon 6
Netherlands 7
Hong Kong SAR 8
Japan 9
New Zealand 10
United Arab Emirates 11
Malaysia 12
Slovenia 13
Estonia 14
Taiwan, China 15
Germany 16
Côte d’Ivoire 17
Canada 18
France 19
Lithuania 20
Ireland 21
Cyprus 22
Malta 23
Norway 24
Sri Lanka 25
Romania 26
Australia 27
Albania 28
Denmark 29
Korea, Rep. 30
Croatia 31
Luxembourg 32
Iceland 33
Mongolia 34
Trinidad and Tobago 35
Iran, Islamic Rep. 36
Austria 37
Ukraine 38
Montenegro 39
Latvia 40
Italy 41
Bahrain 42
Sweden 43
United States 44
Portugal 45
United Kingdom 46
Armenia 47
Serbia 48
China 49
Mauritius 50
Poland 51
Indonesia 52
Tunisia 53
Zimbabwe 54
Costa Rica 55
Seychelles 56
Czech Republic 57
Russian Federation 58
Rwanda 59
Macedonia, FYR 60
Greece 61
Bulgaria 62
India 63
Jordan 64
Vietnam 65
Cameroon 66
Philippines 67
Israel 68
Saudi Arabia 69
Guyana 70
Kazakhstan 71
Ghana 72
Tajikistan 73
Morocco 74
Hungary 75
Slovak Republic 76
Cape Verde 77
Kenya 78
Thailand 79
Moldova 80
Zambia 81
Senegal 82
Bhutan 83
Spain 84
Ecuador 85
Swaziland 86
Ethiopia 87
Nepal 88
Pakistan 89
Lao PDR 90
Madagascar 91
Bosnia and Herzegovina 92
Gambia, The 93
Liberia 94
Botswana 95
Jamaica 96
Georgia 97
Burundi 98
Kuwait 99
Lesotho 100
Honduras 101
Oman 102
Turkey 103
Azerbaijan 104
Algeria 105
Bangladesh 106
Chile 107
Gabon 108
Benin 109
Mali 110
Uganda 111
Cambodia 112
Argentina 113
Panama 114
Guinea 115
Venezuela 116
Colombia 117
Kyrgyz Republic 118
El Salvador 119
Chad 120
Namibia 121
Uruguay 122
Mauritania 123
Haiti 124
Bolivia 125
Mexico 126
Myanmar 127
Malawi 128
Tanzania 129
Egypt 130
Nigeria 131
Mozambique 132
Brazil 133
Guatemala 134
Nicaragua 135
Peru 136
Dominican Republic 137
Paraguay 138
South Africa 139

(Data sourced from World Economic Forum)

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