World Pisa Results 2009

Today I discovered this really nifty tool, Target Map. It allows you to generate color-coded global and national maps just by uploading an Excel database.

In what will probably surprise no-one who follows my interests, my first map illustrates average PISA scores for Math, Reading, and Science for the 65 regions in the original 2009 study, 10 additional regions in a 2010 follow-up study, and the results from 12 of China’s provinces. The correlation between this map, a map of global IQ’s, and a map of GDP per capita – covered in detail on this blog – is startling to say the least.

(Click to enlarge). A table of PISA results, both average and by each of the three components, follows below the break.

Countries of particular interest or significance are bolded.

Country Reading Math Science Average
 Hong Kong 533 555 549 546
 Finland 536 541 554 544
 Singapore 526 562 542 543
 South Korea 539 546 538 541
 Japan 520 529 539 529
 Canada 524 527 529 527
 New Zealand 521 519 532 524
 China 486 550 524 520
 Taiwan 495 543 520 519
 Netherlands 508 526 522 519
 Australia 515 514 527 519
 Liechtenstein 499 536 520 518
 Switzerland 501 534 517 517
 Estonia 501 512 528 514
 Germany 497 513 520 510
 Belgium 506 515 507 509
 Iceland 500 507 496 501
 Poland 500 495 508 501
 Norway 503 498 500 500
 United Kingdom 494 492 514 500
 Denmark 495 503 499 499
 Slovenia 483 501 512 499
 France 496 497 498 497
 Ireland 496 487 508 497
 OECD average 493 496 501 497
 United States 500 487 502 496
 Hungary 494 490 503 496
 Sweden 497 494 495 495
 Czech Republic 478 493 500 490
 Portugal 489 487 493 490
 Slovak Republic 477 497 490 488
 Austria 470 496 494 487
 Latvia 484 482 494 487
 Italy 486 483 489 486
 Spain 481 483 488 484
 Luxembourg 472 489 484 482
 Lithuania 468 477 491 479
 Croatia 476 460 486 474
 Greece 483 466 470 473
 Russian Fed. 459 468 478 468
 Israel 474 447 455 459
 Malta 442 463 461 455
 Turkey 464 445 454 454
 Serbia 442 442 443 442
 Chile 449 421 447 439
 Bulgaria 429 428 439 432
 UAE 431 421 438 430
 Costa Rica 443 409 430 427
 Uruguay 426 427 427 427
 Romania 424 427 428 426
 Thailand 421 419 425 422
 Mexico 425 419 416 420
 Mauritius 407 420 417 415
 Venezuela (Miranda) 422 397 422 414
 Malaysia 414 404 422 413
 Trinidad & Tobago 416 414 410 413
 Montenegro 408 403 401 404
 Jordan 405 387 415 402
 Brazil 412 386 405 401
 Moldova 388 397 413 399
 Colombia 413 381 402 399
 Kazakhstan 390 405 400 398
 Argentina 398 388 401 396
 Tunisia 404 371 401 392
 Azerbaijan 362 431 373 389
 Indonesia 402 371 383 385
 Albania 385 377 391 384
 Georgia 374 379 373 375
 Qatar 372 368 379 373
 Panama 371 360 376 369
 Peru 370 365 369 368
 India 327 345 337 336
 Kyrgyzstan 314 331 330 325
  • A most interesting. map. There are all sorts of figures I would have expected for example Slovenia outperforming the Czech Republic.

    I am confident that Russia’s rankings will rise steadily just as I am confident that life expectancy and general health will improve.

    • AK

      I too expect Russia will go up, as schooling shifts to the Western methods that are better are producing good results in PISA, but only moderately so. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect it to exceed the “Slavic ceiling” seemingly set by Poland at about 500-510.

  • Albo

    Has anybody noted that Robert Lynn’s IQ tables give Finland 97 (close to Russia’s 96) ?
    Now its educational prowess kind of disprove his theories, isn’t it ? In the end what are Japan or South Korea’s stellar national IQs good for if Finnish students are better anyway?

    • AK

      No, of course it doesn’t. There are of course exceptions here and there, but overall, the correlation between PISA scores and IQ scores is extremely close.

      R2=.71, to be precise, based on average of PISA 2009, and Lynn’s 2006 figures. This rises to R2=.79 once you include those of Lynn’s IQ figures which were calculated via the crude method of averaging the scores of their neighbors. This is because the much bally-hoed “g-Factor” is a fact of life.

      And Finnish students are mediocre as measured by TIMMS and PIRLS, whereas Japan and Korea perform even better on them than on PISA.

      • Albo

        Anatoly,

        The fact that measures of intelligence vary among individuals and regions/ethnicities and that much of the difference is probably explained by biology isn’t mutually exclusive with the idea that schooling and good education policies can also make a difference.

        Yes we can just view Finland as a statistical oddity that doesn’t change the general trend, but what if Finland’s education policies are really much better than most of the others? (You said Pisa is closer to an IQ test than TIMMS, that the latter put more emphasis on  preparedness and Finland was tested only once a while ago). I think we all accept that success in education is some  function of heredity and hard work, and we can establish trends about the role of each. 

        Yet that doesn’t mean a particular school or method can’t manage to extract much more from its students than others- I’m sure we all witnessed that also. Generally they stand out and are the rarity (much more attention and efforts than usual are needed, which often but not necessarily translate into funds) -but they exist. Now what if Finland’s education were simply one of the most successful internationally in this regard? This is what I suspect (Finland policies are lauded and envied all over Europe) and if so, to a large extent the Wealth of Nations that Richard Lynn linked to IQ can be circumvented : when Finland’s (97 average) can engineer the best higher education and the third place in innovation in the world (only after the Us and Switzerland- as per the world economic forum report- and considerably less helped by brain drain I’m sure) much ahead than Honk-Kong and it’s 10 points higher IQ,  larger population and financial bonanza – at least yes, Russia can take note in any case 😉

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