Graduation day at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, May 2019
Jonathan Drake / Reuters

Since the end of World War II, the world’s population has not only gotten vastly bigger; it has also become vastly more educated. In nearly every country on earth, the total number of years that citizens have attended school has grown faster than the population itself, and the number of college degrees conferred has grown even faster. Although population growth is now slowing almost everywhere (and depopulation is an emerging reality for some countries), the overall pace of educational expansion will remain much faster than natural population growth as far into the future as a demographer’s eye can

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