According to estimation by the Population Division of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, the Asia-Pacific region’s population has increased from 3.7 billion in 2000 to 4.5 billion in 2018 and will be 4.9 billion by 2030. Among the total population, school age population (5-17 years) constitutes almost 20.9 per cent (2015), even though such proportion is a drop from 22.1 per cent in 2010 and is projected to further drop to 18 per cent by 2030. However, in pre-demographic dividend countries such as Afghanistan, the share of children in the total population is still growing because of high fertility rate, putting pressure on the public system for delivery of services like health and education. In addition, there is a significant proportion of the economically active population (around 57 per cent) in the region who will require continuous upskilling in order to keep up with the rapidly changing labour market and technological advances. To this effect, there will be increasing need for countries to expand provisions of post-basic education and skills development through specialized training and lifelong learning provisions, while there continues to be a need also to increase the quality of basic education. To provide quality education for every child and youth in the developing countries of Asia-Pacific, ESCAP estimates that in the 43 countries with data available, education spending for pre-primary to upper secondary would have to rise from US$606 billion in 2015 to an annual average of US$737 billion in 2016-2030. The increase reflects higher enrolment (by 2030, about 230 million students more in pre-primary to upper-secondary) and an increase in per pupil spending in line with higher incomes. In addition, reasonable access to quality post-secondary education would cost an annual average of US$1.2 trillion in 2015-2030. While domestic public and private financial resources are sufficient to cover this increase in most countries in East Asia, external financing will continue to play a big role in the Pacific Island States and across lower income countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, to fill the resource gap. DOWNLOAD SDG PROFILE For more data and regional analysis, access the Asia-Pacific SDG Gateway.