The US Was A Global Leader In Healthcare And Education, Now It’s In Free Fall
The United States now ranks 27th in the world as of 2016 for its levels of healthcare and education, a new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington found, according to Business Insider.
The U.S. is one of the few developed nations that lacks universal healthcare and sits behind a host of top-ranking Nordic countries, including Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
When it comes to education, the nation fares even worse. The Pew Research Center placed the U.S. 38th out of 71 countries when it comes to math scores and 24th place when it comes to science.
Yet, in 1990, the U.S. ranked sixth in the world for its levels of education and health -- 21 spots ahead of where it is now.
A possible explanation for such a downfall is the decline in U.S. spending on elementary and high school education, which fell by 3 percent from 2010 to 2014 as the student population grew by 1 percent. Other developed nations, such as the UK or Portugal, saw education spending rise by more than 25 percent from 2008 to 2014. Turkey, the nation with the most dramatic improvement in healthcare and education levels, increased education spending by 76 percent.
The U.S. still spends more per student than most of its peers, but other countries saw rapid improvement in their rankings because they had instituted significant policy reforms in the last 30 years, which include providing equal funding for schools in different locations, expanding student testing, and structuring curricula to students’ abilities.
The countries with the most significant improvements in education and healthcare also saw quicker GDP growth on a per capita basis, leading the study to conclude that investments in education and healthcare could be tied to a country’s economic performance.