Reports 2021/03

The educational career of persons born in 1975, 1985 and 1995

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Since the beginning of the 1970s and until today, the composition of the Norwegian population has changed gradually. The country has become more multicultural and more diverse, immigration has increased, and the country background of immigrants spans worldwide. This report looks at those born 1980-1990 who immigrated at a young age (below 17 years of age) and their progression through the education system, transition to employment and their income situation.

The vast majority start upper secondary education after completing primary school. The proportion who start upper secondary education immediately after completing primary school is higher for those who immigrated early in childhood, compared with those who immigrated after the age of 11.

Immigrants to a somewhat greater extent choose a general education program over vocational education program, compared with the rest of the population. Within vocational education programs, female immigrants are overrepresented in Helse og sosialfag (Reform 94) compared with women in the rest of the population.

Among those who immigrated late in childhood, there is a higher proportion who have not achieved a certificate in upper secondary education, compared with those who immigrated in early childhood.

Immigrants are overall underrepresented in higher education compared to the rest of the population. But if we exclude those who have not acquired a certificate from a general program in upper secondary school, there is approximately equal participation in higher education regardless of immigration background. Fewer immigrants complete higher education compared to the rest of the population.

Immigrants have a lower employment rate compared with the rest of the population. This is regardless if you look at agreed working hours or full-time employees, and the differences persist with age. Immigrant women have a lower employment rate than immigrant men, and employment is lowest for immigrants aged 11-16 when immigrating, compared with those who immigrated at a younger age.

There is a larger proportion of people who are employed among those who have completed and passed upper secondary education compared with those who have not completed. That is, it is education that creates the biggest differences between the groups, not the immigrant background itself.

We find that immigrants have a lower median income compared with the rest of the population, and immigrants aged 11-16 when immigrating have the lowest occupational income.

Immigrant women have a median occupational income compared to immigrant men. Immigrants with a country background from Africa have the lowest median occupational income. As with employment, education makes a bigger difference than the immigration category when it comes to the median occupational income.

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