To show the competitiveness of a nation one can look at a country’s population, average wages, and the amount of time spent in school. When compared to countries such as Japan and South Korea, the U. S. has a much higher population. However, it is not the total population that would make a nation competitive, but the amount of people living in a certain area. According to the National Census of 2011, there are over 300 million people in the United States living in the 3,537,422 sq. lies of the country (“Profile”). According to the U. S. Department of State, country of South Korea has a population of 48,754,657 people in its 38,023 sq. mi. To put the population of South Korea in comparison to the U. S. , imagine about one sixth of America’s population in side of the state of Indiana. The population of Japan consists of about 126,457,664 people living inside of its 145,902 sq. mi. The population density of Japan is about half of the United States’ population inside of the state of California.
The population density shows how many people are competing with each other for jobs and college acceptance. Since America has such a large amount of territory, the people are not as threatened with each other, thus lowering its competition levels. Americans were once thought of having the richest population in the world. In 2010 National Wage Index, the average wage was $41,673. 83. This beats the average wage in South Korea, which is the equivalent of $33,000 U. S. dollars, yet loses to the citizens of Japan, who make the equivalent of $46,800 U.
S. dollars (“2012 Average Salary Survey”). The wages help us determine whether the average man has a well paying job, for him to get a well paying job, he would probably need a good education. The amount of time spent in the classroom also may improve the superiority of the students it produces. The average American student goes to school for 6. 5 hours a day, 180 days a year (O’Mara). In South Korea, the required amount of time for children to attend school is 220 days (Pellissier). In Japan a total of 240 days is required.
Students must also pass an entry exam to get into high school, thereby increasing the level of competition even higher (“Daily Life”). The longer school year and the entry exams force a student to become more focused and competitive. South Korea, Japan, and the U. S. A. are part of the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), which “evaluate[s] education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in participating countries/economies (PISA). ” After the 2009 test scores were published, the U.
S. fell below the average in the math section but remained only slightly above average in the reading portion of the test. Japan placed fourth in the mathematics section, and fifth in the reading section. South Korea, however, was the country that had the highest scoring in both mathematics and reading, ranking at the top of the list. These tests are proof that America is not producing the level of high scoring students as Asian Countries. This is yet another example of how a competitive culture can effect and improve an education system.
From what the information suggests, the educational systems in Asian countries far exceed that of America. The level of competition in these countries plays a major factor in their success and will continue to allow only the best and brightest students to be selected in universities and jobs. If America is to retain her status as the world’s leading producer of brilliant minds, then it must somehow improve its educational systems in order to match not just the competition within her own borders, but across the globe.