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💷 3x UK Ed-Spend Decline. Germany Leads E-Bikes. India Unemployment.

Chart of the Day #82 looks at UK Education Spending Decline, Micro-Mobility Growth, and Indian Unemployment.

Kia ora 🥝

The US Census Bureau reported a 9% increase in K-12 education funding, the largest in over 20 years. Germany's economic struggles are impacting the labor market, with unemployment set to reach its highest level in nearly a decade, according to the German Economic Institute. Amidst the rising popularity of e-bikes, a study finds that injuries from e-bike accidents are as severe as motorcycle accidents despite their safety and lower speeds.

Today's Topics

💷 Education Spending. Threefold decline in UK’s education spending
🚲 Micro Mobility. Germany leads the European e-bike market with 2.2M sales
💼  Unemployment. India’s youth unemployment reaches 10%

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💷 Threefold Decline in UK’s Education Spending

Education spending in the UK peaked in 2010 at £15.8B ($19.8B) and since then, it has declined by threefold to £4.6B ($5.7B) in 2022. Paradoxically, despite an increase in student enrollment, overall government spending on higher education fell by more than 40%. This financial constraint is further highlighted by a 16% decrease in funding per domestic student since 2012, coupled with rising demands for financial aid and additional funding. 

This downward trend can be attributed to austerity measures that began after the 2008 financial crisis, which resulted in cuts across public spending, including education. The financial landscape for universities shifted as a consequence, with capped tuition fees and reduced government grants straining their budgets and leading to deficits. The University College Admissions Service's stringent policy allows students to submit only five applications, heightening competitiveness. Additionally, a heavy reliance on international student fees created vulnerability when changes in immigration policies caused a decline in applications. 

🚲 Germany Leads the European E-Bike Market With 2.2M Sales

Germany led European e-bike sales with 2.2 million units sold in 2022, largely because of its strong cycling infrastructure, which includes multiple cycle pathways, rental facilities, and parking spaces. German manufacturers, who are in the lead in e-bike technology, also contribute by producing high-quality, reliable, and technologically advanced e-bikes, boosting consumer confidence and trust. Some German cities also enhance e-bike adoption by offering subsidies and tax incentives for purchasers.

In 2023, e-bikes continued to outpace mechanical bike sales in Germany, with 2.1 million e-bikes sold, representing 53% of the market, versus 1.9 million for regular bikes. However, despite the reported growth, e-bike sales in Germany declined in 2023 compared to 2022, and regular bike sales dropped even more significantly. This trend highlights a broader decrease in bike sales following the increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

💼 India’s Youth Unemployment Reaches 10%

Unemployment remains a persistent issue in India, with overall unemployment slightly increasing from 2000 and 2012 levels, reaching 3.2% in 2023, marking an improvement post-pandemic. Youth unemployment (aged 15-29) saw a significant rise, reaching 10% in 2023, up from 6.2% in 2012. According to the ILO, the unemployment rate for young Indians with a graduate degree surpassed 29%, nearly nine times higher than the illiterate population, highlighting the mismatch between skills and job availability in the market.

India, boasting one of the youngest populations globally with an average age of 29 years, struggles to capitalize on its youthful demographic dividend due to a lack of remunerative jobs in non-farm sectors for its newly educated youth. Despite an anticipated economic growth of 6.5% this fiscal year, the labor landscape remains challenging.

Additionally, while wages for casual laborers modestly rose between 2012 and 2022, real wages for regular workers stagnated or declined, with even self-employed earnings falling after 2019. This disparity may contribute to unemployment as highly skilled youth seek better opportunities beyond the national labor market.

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