# What’s a way to rank a nations success that accounts for population differences?

I’m working on a research paper about how American education compares to that of other nations and I made a stunning realization that might lead me to need to pick a new topic if I can’t solve it.

If I want my research paper to matter at all, it needs to be about something actually important, and I need to be able to show that it’s important. What I’m looking at is how, according to the PISA, the United States is lagging behind in education; however, I don’t know where to find any evidence that a better educated population leads to a more successful society on a national level. All I can think is GDP, but from what I understand, GDP seems like it’s greatly impacted by population. Pretty much all the nations ahead of the U.S. are the smallest, itty bitty first world nations (except for maybe Japan), so I don’t really know how to calculate success in a way that proves that a well educated society leads to a successful nation. Or even if there’s something that disproves it, I’ll take that too.

Relevance
• fcas80
Lv 7
3 years ago

I think you are asking a math/statistics question, and that is whether there is a positive and significant correlation between education and national economic success. Regarding GDP, I would divide it by population so you have GDP per person. So now you have PISA scores by country versus GDP per person by country, you could calculate the correlation coefficient r and do a statistical hypothesis test on whether the value of r is statistically significant (a stats book will have this). However, the little I know about these PISA scores is that they are for 15 year olds. I'm not sure it makes sense to compare 2015 PISA scores versus 2015 GDP per person. Maybe you should compare 2005 PISA scores with 2015 GDPs, because 25 year olds are contributing to GDP much more than 15 year olds, but this is still lacking because other ages are contributing to GDP too.

• 3 years ago

you could find the number of students enrolled at each grade level (elementary, high school, secondary school, post graduate, etc), and calculate ratios and percentages based on the countries entire population (or child population, if possible). from there, you could find the average salaries of working adults, unemployment rates, and etc that could give you similar results.

• Laurie
Lv 7
3 years ago

You are learning what all successful college students know.

NEVER commit to a topic for a research paper, speech, or presentation... and NEVER begin writing... until you have done the research.

The research comes FIRST, the paper comes later.

Students should always find at least 3-5 academically-acceptable resources, and do AT LEAST 3 hours research, taking notes as they go, BEFORE they commit to a topic or begin writing. (If you can't find the resources, or enough information to require at least 3 hours of study, then pick another topic.)

Sounds like you need to start from Square One.