Compulsory Education per Country in Years

Map by Reddit user wessuru

The map shown above shows the years of education across the world. Each country’s color corresponds to their years of compulsory education, where the darker the shade of green, the more years of required schooling. This data on education by country is based on those published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, re-published by the World Bank.

Venezuela has the most years of mandatory education, at 17 years. UNESCO data notes that apparently, schooling in this South American country starts as young as in one’s infancy (listed as 0 years old), and is compulsory until the age of 16.

Second on the list is another South American nation, Guatemala. Its students require 16 years of mandatory schooling.

Six countries require their pupils to complete 15 years of education:

  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Israel
  • Ecuador
  • Tonga
  • El Salvador

Meanwhile, nine nations, mostly of Latin American origin, mandate 13 schooling years:

  • the Dutch part of Sint Maarten
  • Curacao
  • Nauru
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Brazil
  • Bolivia

13 years of mandatory education is needed in 13 countries. Meanwhile, more than two dozen countries, including the United States, require 12 years of compulsory schooling. There are 16 countries that expect pupils to finish 11 years of basic education.

The United Kingdom (UK) is among those that expect an 11-year education from its students. Reddit user u/Psyk60 notes that the required years of education may actually differ in each of the UK’s constituent countries. For instance, a student from England receives “some sort of education or training” until they reach the age of 18, “but in the rest of the UK you can leave education at [age] 16.”

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The same data from UNESCO and World Bank say that more than three dozen countries – 41 to be exact – oblige their students to complete 10 years of school. Another 41 countries, on the other hand, have a mandatory schooling program of nine years.

12 countries require eight years of school, 10 countries require seven schooling years, and 18 countries require education of six years. 22 countries and territories have no reported data when it comes to years of mandatory education.

Lastly, there are three countries that only need their students to complete five years of compulsory education, which is the fewest mandatory schooling years that have been reported:

  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Bangladesh
  • Madagascar

These books provide an insight into the levels and methods of education:

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