Pakistani Muslims, who form one of the largest adult Muslim populations globally, have 3.8 years of schooling on average, a recent Pew Research Center study found.
Released on Tuesday, the study stated Muslims tend to have the fewest years of formal schooling. Jews, on the other hand, it said, are more highly educated than any other major religious group around the world.
The report’s findings were based on data collected from 151 countries, which according to Pew, represented 95 per cent of the 3.6 billion people in the world who were over the age of 25 in 2010.
It focused on adherents of five major world religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism as well as those who identified as being religiously unaffiliated.
Researchers did not measure the quality of education the adherents had received. Instead, they focused on the number of years the adherents had spent while enrolled.
Theism, gender gap and education
The Muslim gender gap in educational attainment worldwide has narrowed, the report found.
However, it also stated that Muslim women around the world lagged behind Muslim men in average years of schooling by a year and a half (4.9 years vs 6.4 years).
It further stated that Muslim gender gaps were larger than the gaps for non-Muslims. Globally, non-Muslim men on average had 8.7 years of schooling compared with 7.7 years for women.
Researchers did not find any educational gender gap among Jews.
Education and religion
Conrad Hackett, the lead researcher, told The New York Times that the study found there was a connection between education levels and the number of people who described themselves as having no religious faith.
“The higher the level of education in a country, the larger the share of people with no religion tends to be,” he said.