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First, the pie has become a lot bigger. Among the age group nearing retirement, there are 39 million with a tertiary qualification in the 36 countries for which we have comparable data. Among the age group entering the labour-force, it is more than twice that number.
But while in the older age group every third person in global talent pool was in the United States, it is only every fifth in the younger age group. China’s share of this global talent pool has expanded from less 7% among the older age group to 18% among those who have just entered the labour market – just 2 percentage points below that of the U.S. In sum, the US still has one of most highly educated labour forces in the OECD area. But among those 25-34 year-olds who have recently entered the labour market, the US now ranks 15th among 34 OECD countries in tertiary attainment.
The investment also seems to work out from the perspective of taxpayers.
Some of the expansion that you are seeing here is driven by international students.