Education and Skills

This chart shows how student-teacher ratios vary around the world

Teacher at the blackboard with a class of children.

A majority of teachers believes the student-staff ratio is important. Image: Unsplash/National Cancer Institute

Anna Fleck
Data Journalist, Statista
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Education and Skills?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how United States is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

United States

  • This chart shows the average number of students per teacher in elementary and secondary schools from different OECD countries.
  • While Norway and Belgium have an average of around 10 pupils per teachers, Mexico has up to 30 students per teacher.
  • Globally, schools are struggling to recruit teachers because of low salaries and burnout from the pandemic.
  • If the situation continues, teaching unions warn, it could lead to a detrimental impact on pupils’ progress.

Around the world, schools are struggling to recruit teachers before the start of the school year. It’s a phenomenon that’s being seen in not only the U.S. but also in Canada, Australia and in Europe, as low salaries and burnout from the pandemic are leading to a mass exodus from the profession.

As our chart shows, there are fairly significant differences between countries. Of the OECD countries listed, Norway and Belgium appear as examples of teachers working with smaller classes, with an average of around 10 pupils per teacher in public education (primary and secondary). By contrast, classes are fairly busy in Mexico. The country has the highest student-teacher ratio of the study, with anywhere between 25 to 30 students per teacher. In the U.S., there are usually around 16 students per teacher in both public elementary and secondary education.

If the situation continues, teaching unions warn, it could lead to a detrimental impact on pupils’ progress, attainment and behavior. This is because it makes it harder to provide adequate provision of learning resources to children, while teachers say they can’t meet the needs of all pupils under those circumstances. While the student-staff ratio alone does not guarantee academic success, with teaching styles, teaching methods and extra-curricular choices also as influencing factors, the majority of teachers believe it is important.

A bar chart showing how student-teacher ratios vary across the globe.
Teachers say they can't meet the needs of all their students if the class is too large. Image: Statista.
Discover

What is the World Economic Forum doing to improve digital intelligence in children?

Have you read?
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Education and SkillsGeographies in Depth
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

AI is changing the shape of leadership – how can business leaders prepare?

Ana Paula Assis

May 10, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum