Education Distribution

Education Distribution

Education Distribution Overview

Education distribution reflects the education level for a geographic region. Education penetration rate, illiteracy rate, higher education level and their long-term trends are vital factors affecting the labour market, consumer market and demographic issues like the fertility rate.

Insight analysis and Assumptions

In China, the “Nine-year Compulsory Education” (includes 6 years’ primary school, 3 years’ secondary education /junior school) campaign, implemented since 1986, became fully popularized throughout China by 2001. Today, more than half of the labour force has had high school and above education. Higher education, especially the large-scale university enrolment expansion, has directly increased the proportion of population with a bachelor degree or above. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 30% of the working population with a bachelor degree or above.

Currently (2021) within urban areas, for working populations below 40-years-old, more than 65% have a high school degree or above.  A conservative estimate is that this proportion will exceed 80% by 2030 and reach 85%. The gender ratio for education below high school is at a similar level. In respect of higher education, especially for groups with bachelor degrees and above, the gender ratio shows a higher level for women. There are significantly more women receiving higher education than men. The popularisation of education promotes the gender equality and improves women’s competitiveness in the labour market, while at the same time reducing women’ willingness to have children.  (See related subject: Fertility rate(link))

At present, the enrolment rate of school-age children in rural areas has reached over 97%. More than 15% of the working population under the age of 40 in rural areas have a high school degree or above. This proportion is likely to exceed 25% after 2030. There is a significant gender ratio difference among people with higher level education (high school and above). For degrees, women account for only about half of the total number of men. As in urban areas, the advantage of women’s gender gift in modern education, like patient and thoroughness, will gradually close ratio gap.  As 2030 approaches, the rural area gender differences in higher education will no longer exist.E

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Demographic data

The Dataist data service provides demographic data for China 31 provinces and 300 prefecture level cities. Data include population level and growth rates by gender, age-groups and urban/rural split. Data range covers period from year 2000 up to 2050.

Source and methodology

The Dataist demographic data for China are based on the China demographic surveys by the National Bureau of Statistics, the 5th survey in 2000, 6th survey in 2010 and 7th survey in 2020, and generated by the Dataist demographic forecast model. The model tracks the demographic natural growth (deaths and births), as well as migration trends, in order to forecast the population changes in the near future and longer-term period.

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