The Gini of the spread of education in the total population aged 15 years and older is given annually for the period 1850-2010 (the time period varies by country)


Bas van Leeuwen, Jieli van Leeuwen-Li, and Peter Foldvari

Production date



Educational inequality by country - The Gini (=a measure of inequality) of education in the total population of 15 years and older


human capital, education, world, inequality

Time period


Geographical coverage

Entire World

Methodologies used for data collection and processing

Bibliographical research, research of published and Online Databases, and cross-analysis of various datasets

Period of collection

October/2010 and February/2013

Data collectors

Bas van Leeuwen and Jieli van Leeuwen-Li

i. Central statistical agencies ii. Historical reconstructions iii. Estimates iv. Conjectures Virtually all benchmark data after 1960 (i.e. 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010) are derived indirectly from Central Statistical Agencies and therefore probably better classify as historical reconstructions. The remaining data are estimates

General references

The main sources, with the exception of some country-specific studies, are:

* Mitchell, B.R. (2007), International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-2005, Basingstroke [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan (5th edition).

* Mitchell, B.R. (2007), International Historical Statistics: The Americas, 1750-2005, Basingstroke [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan (5th edition).

* Mitchell, B.R. (2007), International Historical Statistics: Europe, 1750-2005, Basingstroke [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan (5th edition).

* US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau, International database, downloaded from: http://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/informationGateway.php

* Unesco, Statistical yearbook, Paris: Unesco, 1964-1999, 1963-1999

* Blue books of the British colonies (various issues)

Some of the data are also taken from papers:

* Péter Földvári and Bas van Leeuwen, 'Educational inequality in Europe, 1870-2000 ,' 20 August 2010.

* Leeuwen, Bas van, Jieli van Leeuwen-Li, and Péter Földvári, 'Regional human capital in Republican and New China: Its spread, quality and effects on economic growth,' 26 July 2011.

* Leeuwen, Bas van, Jieli van Leeuwen-Li, and Péter Földvári, 'Was education a driver of economic development in Africa? Inequality and income in the twentieth century,' 23 April 2012.

* Didenko, Dmitry, Peter Foldvari, and Bas van Leeuwen, `A dataset on human capital in the former Soviet Union area: Sources, methods, and first results,' CGEH Working Paper No. 35, Aug. 2012.


Anguilla[No Data]

Antigua and Barbuda1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Aruba[No Data]

Bahamas1500 (5)-2013 (23)

Barbados1500 (5)-2016 (28)

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba[No Data]

British Virgin Islands[No Data]

Cayman Islands[No Data]

Cuba1500 (8)-2016 (35)

Curaçao[No Data]

Dominica1500 (5)-2016 (21)

Dominican Republic1500 (6)-2018 (38)

Grenada1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Guadeloupe[No Data]

Haiti1500 (6)-2018 (36)

Jamaica1500 (6)-2018 (35)

Martinique[No Data]

Montserrat[No Data]

In 2010, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded a subsidy to the Clio Infra project, of which Jan Luiten van Zanden was the main applicant and which is hosted by the International Institute of Social History (IISH). Clio Infra has set up a number of interconnected databases containing worldwide data on social, economic, and institutional indicators for the past five centuries, with special attention to the past 200 years. These indicators allow research into long-term development of worldwide economic growth and inequality.

Global inequality is one of the key problems of the contemporary world. Some countries have (recently) become wealthy, other countries have remained poor. New theoretical developments in economics - such as new institutional economics, new economic geography, and new growth theory - and the rise of global economic and social history require such processes to be studied on a worldwide scale. Clio Infra provides datasets for the most important indicators. Economic and social historians from around the world have been working together in thematic collaboratories, in order to collect and share their knowledge concerning the relevant indicators of economic performance and its causes. The collected data have been standardized, harmonized, and stored for future use. New indicators to study inequality have been developed. The datasets are accessible through the Clio Infra portal which also offers possibilities for visualization of the data. Clio Infra offers the opportunity to greatly enhance our understanding of the origins, causes and character of the process of global inequality.