Education improves longevity

Shortly after the Second World War, the Swedish government conducted a vast social experiment to decide whether to implement educational reform. An examination of data from people who took part in the study has revealed that those lucky enough to have experienced the reformed system have been more likely than their contemporaries to live a long life.

The Swedish government decided to undertake a controlled study of its proposed new school system — so, from 1949 to 1962, all 1.2 million children in the Swedish state education system were set on one of two paths. In a slowly increasing proportion of the school districts across the country, it became compulsory for children to attend a comprehensive school for 9 years. The rest of Sweden provided a control group, in which children stuck to the existing system: mandatory schooling for 8 years.

The results … a longer period of education correlated with significant educational benefits as well as extended live span!

Repeating the Swedish experiment on a similar scale would be almost impossible now. No one could advocate deliberately withholding education from a group of children. It would be entirely unethical. Learn more here.

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