Asian students dominated the top of the rankings, with Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan home to the highest-achieving students outside of Singapore. All these countries are categorized by the OECD as high-income, in common with Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Vietnam, however, is a lower-middle income country.
The report also ranked countries based on the percentage of students who had not acquired basic education skills, categorized as those who achieved below 420 points in the math and science tests.
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Ghana in West Africa, categorised as a lower-middle income country, came at the top of this table, with almost 90 percent of students not acquiring basic skills. Hong Kong had the fewest students without basic skills, at less than 10 percent.
The report claimed 24 percent of students in the U.S. had not acquired basic skills, making it the second-worst high-income country in the world on this measure, after Luxembourg. The OECD argued that if the U.S. could ensure all students reached this baseline, over $27 trillion dollars would be added to the national economy over the course of the students' working lives.