Top 10 Facts You Don't Know
About Girls' Education

PHOTO: Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai (Getty Images)

Nearly 70 million children around the world today cannot get a basic education. More than half are girls.

But educating a girl can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Girls who get an education marry later, have fewer children, earn higher wages and support healthier and more prosperous families.

The numbers below offer insights into the current status of girls' education, and the lasting impact education can have on girls, families, communities and nations around the world.

Globally, 65 million girls are not in school.
There are 31 million girls of primary school age not in school. Seventeen million of these girls will probably never attend school in their lifetimes.
Of the 123 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who cannot read or write, 61 percent of them are women.
There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.
Girls with eight years of education are four times less likely to marry as children.
A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20 percent more as an adult.
A child born to a mother who can read and write is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5.
Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school.
Half of the children who are not in school live in conflict-ridden countries. Girls make up 55 percent of this total.
In 2012, there were 3,600 documented attacks on education, including violence, torture and intimidation against children and teachers, resulting in death or serious injuries, the shelling and bombing of schools and the recruitment of school-age children by armed groups.

Special thanks to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. Other sources include Education First, National Academies Press, the World Bank, UNICEF, EFA Global Monitoring Report and United Nations Statistics Division.

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