Mapping disparities in education across low- and middle-income countries

Local Burden of Disease Educational Attainment Collaborators, Nicholas Graetz, Lauren Woyczynski, Katherine F. Wilson, Jason B. Hall, Kalkidan Hassen Abate, Foad Abd-Allah, Oladimeji M. Adebayo, Victor Adekanmbi, Mahdi Afshari, Olufemi Ajumobi, Tomi Akinyemiju, Fares Alahdab, Ziyad Al-Aly, Jacqueline Elizabeth Alcalde Rabanal, Mehran Alijanzadeh, Vahid Alipour, Khalid Altirkawi, Mohammadreza Amiresmaili, Nahla Hamed Anber & 31 others Catalina Liliana Andrei, Mina Anjomshoa, Carl Abelardo T. Antonio, Jalal Arabloo, Olatunde Aremu, Krishna K. Aryal, Mehran Asadi-Aliabadi, Suleman Atique, Marcel Ausloos, Ashish Awasthi, Beatriz Paulina Ayala Quintanilla, Samad Azari, Alaa Badawi, Joseph Adel Mattar Banoub, Suzanne Lyn Barker-Collo, Anthony Barnett, Neeraj Bedi, Derrick A. Bennett, Natalia V. Bhattacharjee, Krittika Bhattacharyya, Suraj Bhattarai, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Ali Bijani, Boris Bikbov, Gabrielle Britton, Roy Burstein, Zahid A. Butt, Rosario Cárdenas, Félix Carvalho, Carlos A. Castañeda-Orjuela, Tiffany Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Educational attainment is an important social determinant of maternal, newborn, and child health1–3. As a tool for promoting gender equity, it has gained increasing traction in popular media, international aid strategies, and global agenda-setting4–6. The global health agenda is increasingly focused on evidence of precision public health, which illustrates the subnational distribution of disease and illness7,8; however, an agenda focused on future equity must integrate comparable evidence on the distribution of social determinants of health9–11. Here we expand on the available precision SDG evidence by estimating the subnational distribution of educational attainment, including the proportions of individuals who have completed key levels of schooling, across all low- and middle-income countries from 2000 to 2017. Previous analyses have focused on geographical disparities in average attainment across Africa or for specific countries, but—to our knowledge—no analysis has examined the subnational proportions of individuals who completed specific levels of education across all low- and middle-income countries12–14. By geolocating subnational data for more than 184 million person-years across 528 data sources, we precisely identify inequalities across geography as well as within populations.

Number of pages4
Issue number7789
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Local Burden of Disease Educational Attainment Collaborators (2020). Mapping disparities in education across low- and middle-income countries. Nature, 577(7789), 235-238.