Globalization has already become a fact. The question is no longer whether to act globally but rather how good we are at it. International comparison can offer important orientation.
The data shows that overall, in terms of readiness for the future Germany is in a good place. But we have to do more if we want to further improve and strengthen our position in international competition in the long run.
Take research, for example. Germany ranks sixth on the European Commission’s Innovation Index 2021, putting it among the group of Strong Innovators. It is also among the global leaders in terms of the number of patents of world market relevance per million inhabitants. The same applies to the number of scientific publications per million inhabitants. With 1,639 Germany ranked ahead of the USA and 25% ahead of the EU average in 2020.
Or education: Germany has high levels of educational enrolment and attainment by international standards, both among women and men. A society whose members are well educated and open minded is the best starting point for dealing with new challenges. And an important basis for overcoming crises without loss of social cohesion. There is one feature that particularly stands out in Germany: Degrees in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as computer science) are more popular in Germany than in any other OECD country. Over a third of all graduates in Germany obtain a tertiary qualification (i.e. a higher-education degree or a vocationally oriented tertiary qualification) in a STEM subject.
For the majority in Germany, the transition from the education and training system into employment is smooth. However, we cannot afford to be complacent in view of the recent slight resurgence in the numbers of young people in Germany who are neither in education nor vocational training or employment. Although the figure is still low by international standards, we urgently have to create education opportunities for these young people. This will benefit both them as individuals and society as a whole. After all, Germany needs a well trained and educated workforce to face the challenges of the future and to safeguard growth and prosperity.
In this section, all tables on topics from chapters 0-2 that have an international reference are shown.