Ever greater share of persons aged 30 to 34 with tertiary educational attainment in the EU

The FINANCIAL — The share of persons aged 30 to 34 in the European Union (EU) who have completed tertiary education continued to steadily increase, from 23.6% in 2002 when the series started to 39.1% in 2016.

This pattern was even more significant for women (from 24.5% in 2002 to 43.9% in 2016, meaning above the overall Europe 2020 target) than for men (from 22.6% to 34.4%, meaning still below the overall Europe 2020 target). The Europe 2020 strategy’s target is that at least 40% of 30-34-year-olds in the EU should have completed tertiary education by 2020.

Meanwhile, the share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) has steadily decreased in the EU, from 17.0% in 2002 to 10.7% in 2016. Young women (9.2% in 2016) are less affected than young men (12.2%). The Europe 2020 target is to reduce the rates of early school leaving in the EU to below 10% by 2020.

Highest share of those aged 30-34 with tertiary education in Lithuania, lowest in Romania and Italy

In 2016, the proportion of those aged 30 to 34 who had completed tertiary education increased compared with 2002 in every Member State for which the time-series is available.

In 2016, at least half of the population aged 30 to 34 had completed tertiary education in Lithuania (58.7%), Luxembourg (54.6%), Cyprus (53.4%), Ireland (52.9%) as well as Sweden (51.0%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions were observed in Romania (25.6%), Italy (26.2%), Croatia (29.5%) and Malta (29.8%).

Thirteen Member States have already met or exceeded their 2020 national target for this indicator: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden.

In 2016, the share of persons aged 30 to 34 who have completed tertiary education is significantly higher for women than men in all Member States, except Germany.

Lowest share of ‘early school leavers’ in Croatia, highest in Malta and Spain

Compared with 2006, the proportion of early leavers from education and training decreased in 2016 in all Member States for which the time-series is available, except the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

In 2016, the lowest proportions of ‘early school leavers’ were observed in Croatia (2.8%), Lithuania (4.8%), Slovenia (4.9%) and Poland (5.2%), while the highest shares were recorded in Malta (19.6%), Spain (19.0%) and Romania (18.5%).

Thirteen Member States have already fulfilled their 2020 national target for this indicator: Belgium, Denmark,

Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia and Finland.

In 2016, the share of early leavers from education Member State, except Bulgaria, the Czech Republic

and training was lower for women than men in every EU and Romania.


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