If investment in education is correlated with business competition, then the U.S. better watch out: India and China are on our tails as far college graduates go, according to this chart by research institute Center for American Progress.
In an analysis comparing investments in the workforce called "The Competition that Really Matters," Donna Cooper, Adam Hersh, and Ann O'Leary looked at each country's share of the world's college graduates.
The authors used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The yellow bar represents a projection based on demographic data and college enrollment trends.
While the U.S.'s share of world graduates goes down, China and India are seeing larger shares of college grads. The paper suggests that the changes in this graph indicate China and India's growing competitiveness. Per Cooper, Hersh, and O'Leary: "[Economic] research consistently points to education and broader human capital investments as the most important drivers of economic progress over time," they write. "The sheer population sizes of China and India mean that relatively soon they will match the United States in the number of skilled-workers competing in globally-mobile industries."
The authors' ultimate conclusion? If the U.S. wants to compete with China and India, it's going to have to invest more in education.