Lifetime earnings are calculated using earnings data for the years 2010-2019, for people between ages 20 and 66 with a relatively strong attachment to the labor market. We find that the lifetime earnings of people with education at the bachelor's and master's level are 7 and 38 per cent, respectively, above the lifetime earnings of people with completed upper secondary education as their highest educational attainment. Those without completed upper secondary education earn 12 per cent less than those with completed upper secondary education. We find large differences also between fields of study at the same level, and several groups at the bachelor's level earn significantly less than those with upper secondary education. Among the education groups at the upper secondary and bachelor's level with the lowest lifetime earnings, the share of females is typically above 80 per cent, while the share is typically below 20 per cent in the groups at the same education levels with the highest lifetime earnings.
Differences in lifetime earnings between educational groups
This report calculates the total earnings over (large parts of) people’s lifetime – lifetime earnings – for different groups defined by their education.
Published: 14 August 2023