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Education Stats: the Philippines vs. US Education Stats

The Philippines have a population of around 109,000,000, while the estimation is that 336,000,000 people live in the United States. But it’s not only population where the Philippines are behind the US. Education stats show that the USA invests more in education and offers better salaries and working conditions. Let’s check the comparison of the education systems and levels in both countries!

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Top 10 Filipino Education Stats & Facts

  1. The Philippines have a 6+4+4 education system.

  2. It’s only compulsory to finish primary school in the Philippines.

  3. The government invests only 2.65% of GDP per capita into its education system.

  4. About 5.6% of children up to 12 years old don’t have a single grade of school completed.

  5. Only 68.8% of Filipinos even reach high school.

  6. English and Pilipino are the official languages of instruction, but English is the more common option at higher levels.

  7. The tertiary enrollment rate in the Philippines is only 31.2%.

  8. Only 10% of Filipinos are academic degree holders.

  9. Every fifth unemployed person in the Philippines is a college graduate.

  10. Management, Law, and Finance offer the highest salaries after completing tertiary education.

General Filipino Education Stats

The official Constitution indicates that the Philippines should consider education the highest budgetary priority. Here are the crucial statistics regarding Filipino education.

The Philippines Have the Highest Literacy Rate in the Region, But it’s Declining

Most reports indicate that the Philippines have a higher literacy rate than Indonesia, Brunei, and other countries in Southeast Asia. The adult Filipino literacy rate was 96.28% in 2019. And while that’s encouraging, the rate was even higher in 2015 and set at 98.18%. It marks a 1.9% decline and indicates problems in the basic education system in the country.

( Macro Trends )

English is the Preferred Language of Instruction, Especially at Higher Levels

From 1935 to 1987, English was the only language of instruction. However, the national government changed this, and Pilipino has become another official language of instruction and communication. But this only applies to compulsory education. In levels higher than primary school, English is almost always the chosen language of instruction, especially at universities and urban areas.

( StudyCountry )

The Philippines Education Level Stats

Compulsory education in the Philippines only covers the first six years of schooling. After primary school education, children can continue with secondary and higher education. These take four years each, and here are the top statistics regarding Filipino education levels.

Tertiary enrollment is only 31.2%

The government is spending 11.57% of GDP per capita on college and university students in the Philippines. Add the high unemployment percentage of academic degree holders, and it’s clear why only 31.2% even try to attain tertiary education. In the US, tertiary enrollment is at 72.6%, and they spend 22.04% of GDP per capita on college students.

( NationMaster )

Only 10% of Filipinos Are Academic Degree Holders

According to the National Statistics Office, only 10.1% of Filipinos were college degree holders in 2010. If there’s good news, it’s that 9.4% were college undergraduates at the time, indicating they were on the road to getting a higher degree.

The same source indicates only 0.3% of Filipinos have a post-baccalaureate degree. Interestingly, there’s a higher percentage of females with a tertiary education degree than their male counterparts.

( PSA )

The US vs. the Philippines Education Stats

The Philippines are struggling to secure optimal education conditions for students in most of the country. The US has a much more regulated system, and here are some intriguing education stats for both countries!

The US Government is Spending Twice More on Education

The Filipino government is investing around 2.65% of its Gross Domestic Product in education. That doesn’t even put them in the top 100 countries in the world. The United States invests 5.62% of its GDP in education.

If we translate this to numbers, that means the US is spending over a trillion dollars on its education system. The Philippines have a lower GDP, so their education investments are only USD 7.23 billion.

( NationMaster )

Three Out of Four Americans Finish High School, But Only 68.8% of Filipinos Reach It

Approximately 75% of all Americans complete the entire high school. In the Philippines, the situation is different – only 68.8% of students even reach this education level. The reports indicate that 5.6% of children up to the age of 12 don’t even have a single grade completed.


The Success of Education in the Philippines

New graduates have an average salary of approximately USD 290 monthly in the Philippines. That’s much lower than for new graduates in the US, which have at least USD 3,600 monthly. Here are some statistics on whether advanced education in the Philippines brings significant benefits!

Every Fifth Unemployed Person in the Philippines is a College Graduate

The Philippines had a 94.5% employment rate in April 2018, and the good news is it improved compared to the year before. But out of all unemployed persons, 19.6% were college graduates. Although the percentage is lower than in those who complete junior high school (28.9%), it’s still high.

( PSA )

The Best-paying Jobs in the Philippines Are in Management and Law

Masters in Management have the best salaries in the Philippines, considering the degree obtained. They can earn up to USD90,000 annually, which is much higher than the average wage in the country. The top choices also include a masters in Law and Finance. Although Masters of Arts round up the top six, their average annual salary is double as low as those in Management – USD 46,000.

( Emolument )


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Mehdi Punjwani
Mehdi Punjwani
Mehdi is a writer and editor with over five years of experience in personal finance, writing for brands including MoneySuperMarket, Equifax and The AA. He graduated from Brunel University with a BA and MA, and likes to spend his free time hiking, travelling, and reading.