In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school?

  • A. 20%
  • B. 40%
  • C. 60%

Correct answer

65.4% of girls in low-income countries completed primary school in 2018. 20% would have been closer to the truth when records began back in 1972 and 40% in the early 2000s. Thankfully, things have moved on since then.

Data source: World Bank

The ignorance we found

Remember our group of chimps? Well, as we’d expect, they scored a solid 33% correct answers on this question. 

But what about our human respondents? Sadly, they didn’t score so well. Just 7% of our respondents chose the correct answer. That’s approximately one correct answer for every 14 people we asked.

And the results don’t get any better if we divide our survey participants up by their country of origin. Our Swedish participants scored highest, but still only 11% of them chose the correct answer. Meanwhile, participants from France and Spain had the lowest performance, with only 4% getting this question right.

Why do people pick the wrong answer?

What images come to mind when you read this question? Possibly those from countries such as Afghanistan and South Sudan where  less than 20% of girls complete primary school, which is still a horrible number. However, only 2% of the world’s girl live in these countries. On the other hand, in Rwanda – which has received a massive amount of negative media attention over time – the rate is a very respectable 94%. Not perfect, certainly, but much higher than people would think.