Major changes in level of education
There have been major changes in the Norwegian population’s level of education from 1985 to 2012. The greatest changes are among the share that has below upper secondary education as their highest education and among the share that has a tertiary education. The share with an upper secondary education has been quite stable through this period.
|1Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as tertiary education|
|2Tertiary education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.|
|3Tertiary education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.|
|4People with unknown or no completed education are not included.|
|Total||1 860 816||1 905 681||2 028 819||2 033 165|
|Basic school level||537 876||584 527||546 197||561 701|
|Below upper secondary level1||825 432||756 754||875 896||772 311|
|Tertiary education, short2||307 171||433 816||353 006||513 342|
|Tertiary education, long3||143 199||86 125||174 733||129 328|
|Unknown or no completed education||47 138||44 459||78 987||56 483|
|Basic school level||29.7||31.4||28.0||28.4|
|Upper secondary education1||45.5||40.7||44.9||39.1|
|Tertiary education, short2||16.9||23.3||18.1||26.0|
|Tertiary education, long3||7.9||4.6||9.0||6.5|
The population’s level of education does not change much from year to year, but over a longer timeframe, the changes have been substantial. The greatest change is seen in the share of people with lower secondary school as their highest education. In 1985, almost 46 per cent of the population aged above 16 years had this level of education, while in 2012 the corresponding figure is 28 per cent; a decrease of 18 percentage points. We see the opposite tendency in the share with tertiary education. In the same period, the share with tertiary education has increased from 13 to almost 30 per cent; an increase of 17 percentage points. The share with an upper secondary education has been quite stable through this period, varying between 41 and 44 per cent. Part of the explanation for the stability at this level is that everyone taking a vocational education is qualified for working life, and this type of education is therefore the final stop for many in terms of education. Many of those who attain a certificate of apprenticeship go on to a vocational college, but they will still be regarded as having the same educational level, namely an upper secondary education.
Different development among the genders
From 1985 to 2012, the share of women with below upper secondary school as their highest education decreased from 49 to 28 per cent. The corresponding figures for men were 42 per cent and 28 per cent. In 2012, the share of women and men with below upper secondary school as their highest education was the same. At upper secondary school level there is almost no change for women, and only a small change for men, who increased their share here by 2 percentage points. There have been major changes among tertiary education. Women have increased their share here by 22 percentage points, from 11 per cent in 1985 to almost 33 per cent in 2012. Men have increased from 15 to 27 per cent in the same period.
Oslo stands out when we compare the educational level in different counties. In the capital, 21.4 per cent have below upper secondary school as their highest education, 32.1 per cent have an upper secondary education, and 46.5 per cent have a tertiary education. On the other side, Finnmark has 36.7 per cent with below upper secondary school as their highest education. Hedmark has 34.8 per cent with below upper secondary school as their highest education, and 22.2 per cent with a tertiary education. In Møre og Romsdal, Sogn og Fjordane and Nord-Trøndelag, half of the population aged 16 years and above have an upper secondary education as their highest education.
Many women have a tertiary education
Among the population aged 16 years and above, people aged 35-39 years have the lowest share with below upper secondary school as their highest education level, with a share of 15 per cent. Meanwhile, the 30-34 year-olds have the highest share with a tertiary education, with over 46 per cent. Of these, 38 per cent of the men and 55 per cent of the women have a tertiary education in 2012. Over half of all women aged 25-39 years have a tertiary education.
Largest proportion with tertiary education are immigrants
Of the immigrant population in Norway, almost 59 000 persons aged 16 years and over have a long tertiary education . This is about 14 per cent of the immigrants with known education, and this is a higher proportion than for the rest of the population, by 7 per cent. The proportion without any completed education or with completed below upper secondary as their highest education, is also higher for immigrants than for the rest of the population. About 30 per cent of immigrants have completed at this level, while 28 per cent of the rest of the population has below upper secondary as their highest education.
What education do Polish immigrants have?
Polish immigrants have the highest proportion of persons with a completed upper secondary education if we compare the largest immigrant groups in Norway. Fifty-four per cent of Polish immigrants have completed upper secondary as their highest education. Persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sweden are next, with 44 and 41 per cent respectively.
One out of ten from Somalia and Afghanistan without education
Immigrants from Somalia represent the sixth largest immigrant group in Norway, with almost 20 000 persons over the age of 16. Twelve per cent of immigrants from Somalia are registered as not having any completed education. There are about 10 000 Afghans living in Norway, and 11 per cent of them have no completed education.
1 All the figures in this paragraph were corrected, 18 June 2013, 12.30 pm.