America Teens 31st In Math? 5 Rankings Where The U.S. Needs To Pull It Together

Owen Poindexter
The United States is the richest nation in the world. So why does it do so poorly on these three crucial rankings?

The OECD released this video to point out the top performers of their PISA education rankings. The United States is not mentioned at any point in the video.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) released its rankings today, and, the United States received its annual dose of embarrassment. While the United States hasn’t done well in the PISA rankings, this latest batch of rankings shows another slip for the world’s richest nation. (The U.S. has the highest GDP in the world and is 7th in GDP per capita.) U.S. teenagers ranked below average for all ranked countries on math, reading and science. Ouch.


In Mathematics, the U.S. placed 31st out of 34 countries. The report notes that the U.S. gets roughly the same results as the Slovak Republic, despite spending more than double per student than the Eastern European nation ($53,000 per student in the Slovak Republic, $115,000 per student in the U.S.).

In other subjects, the U.S. did better, but not what you’d call well. In Science, U.S. teens ranked 24th and in Reading, America is 21st, sandwiched between Sweden and Estonia.

Read More: Malala Yousafzai Fund To Boost Education


Education isn’t the only place the U.S. is getting a woefully poor return on its investment. The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other nation and gets middling results in return. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. ranks 46th in healthcare efficiency. Only Switzerland spends more per capita, and the Swiss live 4 years longer than Americans, on average. As a percentage of GDP, the U.S. spends over 17% on healthcare, and no other country is especially close. If only we revamped our healthcare system that forced insurance companies to spend 80% of their coverage on care while simultaneously flooding the market with no enrollees and setting up an online hub where people could look at different plans….

Freedom of the Press

One more: this one isn’t directly related to our prosperity as a nation, but there are links. The U.S. prides itself as the most free nation the world has ever seen. And everyone knows that a free democracy requires a free press, so that corruption can’t fester away from the sunlight cast by reporters. So, where does this free, democratic nation rank on the World Press Freedom Index?

Related: United States Lifts Ban On Domestic Propaganda- Here Is What You Need To Know

32nd. Jamaica (13th), Ireland (15th), Namibia (19th) and Cyprus (24th) are some of the countries that are considered to have a freer press than the United States. If people want to complain about the loss of liberty in the United States, this would be a good place to start.

Here's a map showing the best and worst countries when it comes to freedom of the press. The U.S. is in the second tier, better than many, but behind every country shaded white.

freedom of the press