407142
/en/utdanning/statistikker/utniv/aar
407142
statistikk
2020-06-19T08:00:00.000Z
Education;Immigration and immigrants
en
utniv, Educational attainment of the population, educational attainment (primary and lower secondary school, upper secondary school), university college/university), educationLevel of education, Education, Immigration and immigrants, Education
true

Educational attainment of the population

Updated

Next update

Not yet determined

Key figures

34.6 %

have attained short and long higher education

Level of education for men and women 16 years and older.1
20132019
TotalTotalMalesFemales
11 For many immigrants Statistics Norway has no information about their level of education. From 2014, figures include an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. See About the statistics about this and definitions of education levels. Tertiary vocational education was prior to 2016 included in upper secondary education.
Level of education, in total4 117 8094 371 2742 193 9612 177 313
Below upper secondary education1 103 2381 095 927565 351530 576
Upper secondary education1 650 4831 606 967867 415739 552
Tertiary vocational education129 00282 54246 460
Higher education, short887 1541 052 929425 652627 277
Higher education, long288 512444 553232 303212 250
Of this:
Ph.D.28 15844 81725 82318 994
Unknown or no completed education160 26441 89620 69821 198
Per cent
Below upper secondary education27.925.326.024.6
Upper secondary education41.737.139.934.3
Tertiary vocational education3.03.82.2
Higher education, short22.424.319.629.1
Higher education, long7.310.310.79.8
Of this
Ph.D.0.71.01.20.9

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Age groups and educational attainment

Age groups and educational attainment1
2019
Population 1OctoberHighest completed education
TotalBasic school levelUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education2Higher education, short3Higher education, long4
1For many immigrants SSB has no information about their education. From 2014, figures include an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. See About the statistics for more information.
2Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher education.
3Higher education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.
4Higher education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.
Total4 371 27425.337.13.024.310.3
16-19 years254 65585.614.40.00.0-
20-24 years339 53025.051.01.421.90.7
25-29 years369 01821.727.62.834.713.2
30-34 years372 36320.826.33.230.719.0
35-39 years352 13419.128.63.130.418.8
40-49 years721 27516.235.33.530.314.6
50-59 years703 86921.139.14.425.310.0
60-66 years422 34621.343.73.923.18.0
67 years or older836 08426.847.52.317.36.1
 
Males2 193 96126.039.93.819.610.7
16-19 years130 93088.111.90.00.0-
20-24 years175 88629.753.11.515.10.6
25-29 years188 72224.833.93.726.511.1
30-34 years189 95923.831.74.323.616.7
35-39 years180 60021.833.94.223.117.1
40-49 years370 14217.540.54.523.514.0
50-59 years360 26821.442.45.320.310.7
60-66 years212 10719.945.65.119.410.0
67 years or older385 34722.947.13.017.010.0
 
Females2 177 31324.634.32.229.19.8
16-19 years123 72582.917.10.00.0-
20-24 years163 64420.048.61.329.20.9
25-29 years180 29618.421.01.843.315.5
30-34 years182 40417.720.72.138.121.5
35-39 years171 53416.423.11.938.020.6
40-49 years351 13314.929.92.637.615.1
50-59 years343 60120.835.73.530.79.4
60-66 years210 23922.641.72.726.96.0
67 years or older450 73730.147.81.717.62.8

Table 2 
County of residence for educational attainment

County of residence for educational attainment1
NumbersPer cent
NumbersBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education2Higher education, short3Higher education, long4Unknown or no completed educationBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education2Higher education, short3Higher education, long4
1For many immigrants SSB has no information about their education. From 2014, figures include an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. See About the statistics for more information.
2Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher education.
3Higher education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.
4Higher education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.
Males
19851 606 112668 083677 653156 99474 65528 72742.443.010.04.7
19901 665 359625 971732 135191 89884 91730 43838.344.811.75.2
19951 701 135557 611783 418234 41497 81227 88033.346.814.05.8
20001 746 270540 425799 796263 748115 41726 88431.446.515.36.7
20051 807 423530 769815 111292 386133 16335 99430.046.016.57.5
20101 956 835541 295857 139332 068160 18166 15228.645.317.68.5
20152 117 010570 495927 460394 123211 31713 61527.144.118.710.0
 
20192 193 961565 351867 41582 542425 652232 30320 69826.039.93.819.610.7
Østfold (-2019)122 82337 93152 1423 54620 4827 7041 01831.142.82.916.86.3
Akershus (-2019)251 15361 51791 1217 18754 40734 3252 59624.736.72.921.913.8
Oslo282 87159 23075 1216 23276 61261 1074 56921.327.02.227.522.0
Hedmark (-2019)82 34225 75835 1482 86413 0354 84269531.543.03.516.05.9
Oppland (-2019)79 24923 30835 2733 01612 3304 73059229.644.83.815.76.0
Buskerud (-2019)116 72432 92747 1154 34321 4529 8041 08328.540.73.818.68.5
Vestfold (-2019)102 78826 78942 9314 22720 0587 87690726.342.14.119.77.7
Telemark (-2019)71 55519 96131 7613 02111 6794 57056328.144.74.316.56.4
Aust-Agder (-2019)48 21912 38620 7352 5188 5403 69134925.943.35.317.87.7
Vest-Agder (-2019)75 77218 79232 9053 43113 9786 10656025.043.74.618.68.1
Rogaland192 17246 37281 3568 44434 13820 2071 65524.342.74.417.910.6
Hordaland (-2019)215 45150 47388 4119 32242 82122 6861 73823.641.44.420.010.6
Sogn og Fjordane (-2019)45 36111 37921 1842 2837 4582 72533225.347.05.116.66.1
Møre og Romsdal110 46729 36448 1606 41719 1116 60181426.843.95.917.46.0
Trøndelag - Trööndelage193 09846 73981 5346 63335 73521 0281 42924.442.53.518.611.0
Nordland101 60131 09042 9914 42716 3585 91681930.842.74.416.25.9
Troms - Romsa (-2019)69 76819 78927 0523 19812 4366 69659728.639.14.618.09.7
Finnmark - Finnmárku (-2019)32 44111 50612 4571 4324 9861 67938135.938.94.515.65.2
County not stated106401813610138.117.11.034.39.5
 
Females
19851 673 486810 437649 926173 39015 72424 00949.139.410.51.0
19901 734 109763 092702 849220 35523 11724 69644.641.112.91.4
19951 773 116687 318739 807285 30734 12126 56339.442.416.32.0
20001 812 166641 172751 678340 41751 95926 94035.942.119.12.9
20051 868 445592 802754 966407 33172 81340 53332.441.322.34.0
20101 981 012570 084768 501479 292109 44653 68929.639.924.95.7
20152 104 975557 697787 750570 821173 43815 26926.737.727.38.3
 
20192 177 313530 576739 55246 460627 277212 25021 19824.634.32.229.19.8
Østfold (-2019)123 64636 62145 2482 94831 1556 5291 14529.936.92.425.45.3
Akershus (-2019)252 10256 24581 2016 37276 07829 7142 49222.532.52.630.511.9
Oslo287 37853 30166 9686 25296 35159 3105 19618.923.72.234.121.0
Hedmark (-2019)83 30224 37330 5391 50221 7134 51765829.537.01.826.35.5
Oppland (-2019)79 22421 32130 8241 51820 7014 26959127.139.21.926.35.4
Buskerud (-2019)116 16730 66641 6322 88431 4558 4201 11026.736.22.527.37.3
Vestfold (-2019)104 49625 82439 0482 58229 3076 85987624.937.72.528.36.6
Telemark (-2019)72 22319 93927 3541 42919 0463 86858727.838.22.026.65.4
Aust-Agder (-2019)47 62612 48317 6841 01213 1172 96536526.437.42.127.86.3
Vest-Agder (-2019)75 99418 39728 8591 45421 6055 01966024.438.31.928.76.7
Rogaland187 29745 76665 0884 17653 05117 4411 77524.735.12.328.69.4
Hordaland (-2019)211 77549 13172 0524 65862 74021 4511 74323.434.32.229.910.2
Sogn og Fjordane (-2019)43 73610 23617 28269412 4982 73329323.639.81.628.86.3
Møre og Romsdal106 32927 14340 1902 10229 7456 35079925.738.12.028.26.0
Trøndelag - Trööndelage188 40344 00767 2933 36354 71517 6391 38623.536.01.829.39.4
Nordland99 34428 68036 3331 77726 0505 80769729.136.81.826.45.9
Troms - Romsa (-2019)67 80717 62122 1241 14619 2147 18351926.232.91.728.610.7
Finnmark - Finnmárku (-2019)30 2878 7589 7975868 6912 15629929.232.72.029.07.2
County not stated177643654520737.621.22.926.511.8

Table 3 
Districts in Oslo and educational attainment

Districts in Oslo and educational attainment1
2019
NumbersPer cent
TotalBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTeritary vocational education2Higher educationUnknown or not completed education1Below upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTeritary vocational education2Higher education
1For many immigrants SSB has no information about their education. From 2014, figures include an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. See About the statistics for more information
2Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher education.
Oslo total569 667112 491142 08812 481293 1339 47420.125.42.252.3
Gamle Oslo48 8309 87610 6141 01226 34997920.622.22.155.1
Grünerløkka53 6599 09111 4661 15431 06388517.221.72.258.9
Sagene39 0455 8307 13768824 83555515.118.51.864.5
St. Hanshaugen34 5684 5096 79066722 09550713.219.92.064.9
Frogner53 0076 52911 2931 19033 08990612.521.72.363.5
Ullern27 7503 2646 05572917 41129111.922.12.763.4
Vestre Aker39 1034 6728 04893624 99245512.120.82.464.7
Nordre Aker41 6435 4189 08782325 89342213.122.02.062.8
Bjerke26 0576 6897 34057110 94351426.228.72.242.8
Grorud22 5007 5177 2784416 77249234.233.12.030.8
Stovner26 5059 7339 0044566 56574737.835.01.825.5
Alna39 83512 74412 83984412 48092832.833.02.232.1
Østensjø40 4448 68512 6671 08117 57643521.731.72.743.9
Nordstrand41 7696 94211 9981 19621 18944416.829.02.951.3
Søndre Nordstrand30 2009 6429 03360010 15876732.830.72.034.5
Sentrum1 446277386346995019.827.72.450.1
Marka1 34426847229566920.135.42.242.4
Unknown urban district Oslo1 962805581304588843.031.01.624.4

Table 4 
Immigrants by country background and educational attainment

Immigrants by country background and educational attainment1
2019
Level of education, in totalNo completed educationBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vokational education2Higher education, short3Higher education, long4
1For many immigrants SSB has no information about their education. From 2014, figures include an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. See About the statistics for more information.
2Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher education.
3Higher education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.
4Higher education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.
Total690 6219 898218 797192 2778 650152 852108 147
Poland89 0379918 32842 48292313 64113 564
Sweden33 2861354 58011 87146311 0985 139
Germany22 587404 6095 8792445 6826 133
Iraq21 6855449 8815 1132154 4391 493
Lithuania34 89215210 17410 17725210 0084 129
Denmark17 620192 6596 7274124 8162 987
Somalia25 4451 79416 5484 4611392 076427
Pakistan19 6308849 0624 0941853 3742 031
Iran17 1363845 2483 9333474 0923 132
Philippines20 4671204 8884 8793047 6772 599
Vietnam13 6845705 6533 8342172 2641 146
Russia16 654353 9923 3352603 6515 381
Bosnia-Herzegovina13 4021042 6715 5041983 3791 546
United Kingdom13 333431 9932 7711535 2553 118
Thailand18 8645529 7774 5151503 028842
Turkey11 1723545 7802 8221091 384723
Afghanistan15 8729749 2483 173781 863536
Kosovo10 003863 7373 7681121 907393
Sri Lanka8 9441093 5072 8242631 590651
United States7 973228291 172892 9172 944
India11 464811 8101 3371134 1703 953
China8 4921231 7961 328752 2532 917
Eritrea19 77132914 0373 2242311 618332
Chile5 981611 5902 1961521 417565
Finland6 090167481 9341662 0041 222
Netherlands7 096168872 013752 3161 789
Latvia9 091452 3453 249882 2561 108
Romania13 075263 2644 3921362 9562 301
Iceland6 09481 4601 8952521 590889
Morocco5 8053702 7151 46972933246
Ethiopia7 4141523 3791 6791261 275803
France4 87610550581361 3742 325
Estonia4 072191 0061 483561 050458
Brazil4 692531 548999809891 023
Ukraine5 0584759800791 2992 117
Bulgaria6 330271 8731 989691 2491 123
Croatia4 410241 1711 71663853583
Spain5 097161 202798411 2801 760
Slovakia3 373254921 68040532604
Myanmar3 025751 75068735376102
Serbia5 739111 1811 8781031 2631 303
North Macedonia2 699451 08687524463206
Hungary3 416105271 05346879901
Italy3 84112753865286641 519
Palestine2 885151 26955338688322
Lebanon1 8392880543421367184
Canada1 759319426924611658
Czech Republic1 9681221767722453587
Ghana1 8991851941834435475
Congo2 458411 16559457462139
Syria22 01447414 6701 6261553 8501 239
Australia1 476317423531552482
Portugal2 9321889657418466960
Sudan3 816992 20553932657284
Colombia1 948846039036464590
Switzerland1 324017334520387397
Nigeria1 7283345136826391459
Kenya1 654751338134500219
Algeria1 1992141031414251189
Indonesia1 296331326015371334
Austria1 201315833218273417
Gambia1 139254744123115047

Table 5 
Norwegian-born with immigrant parents and educational attainment by field of education

Norwegian-born with immigrant parents and educational attainment by field of education1
2019
TotalBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education2Higher education, short3Higher education, long4Unknown or no completed education1
1For many immigrants SSB has no information about their level of education. From 2014, figures include an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. For more information see About the statistics.
2Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher education.
3Higher education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.
4Higher education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.
Total57 74522 88216 10073511 4954 9911 542
General programmes32 71422 8779 803331-..
Humanities and arts1 462-37187761243..
Education1 588-341 427154..
Social sciences and law2 277-249201 246762..
Business and administration5 010-8222053 090893..
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects5 54332 2851882 072995..
Health, welfare and sport6 50712 006472 5681 885..
Primary industries67-54148..
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services865-49411723222..
Unspecified field of study1 7121133394291 542
 
Males29 76513 0948 2183664 9332 337817
General programmes17 89213 0914 77922--..
Humanities and arts504-11627255106..
Education431--239435..
Social sciences and law817-12115429252..
Business and administration2 523-333481 650492..
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects4 47712 1501801 476670..
Health, welfare and sport1 74214738517743..
Primary industries45-37134..
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services446-2055516719..
Unspecified field of study8881484216817
 
Females27 9809 7887 8823696 5622 654725
General programmes14 8229 7865 024111-..
Humanities and arts958-25560506137..
Education1 157-321 033119..
Social sciences and law1 460-1285817510..
Business and administration2 487-4891571 440401..
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects1 06621358596325..
Health, welfare and sport4 765-1 533392 0511 142..
Primary industries22-17-14..
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services419-28962653..
Unspecified field of study824-9255213725

Table 6 
Reason for immigration and educational attainment

Reason for immigration and educational attainment12
2019
NumbersPer cent
TotalNo completed educationBasic school levelUpper secondary education3Higher education, short4Higher education, long5
1For many immigrants SSB has no information about their level of education. 2014 figures includes an estimated level of education for missing values for these immigrants. See About the statistics for more information.
2Very few non-Nordic immigrants resident after 1989 lacks reason for immigration. Unknown reason for immigration is therefore not included in this table.
3Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as tertiary education
4Higher education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.
5Higher education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.
 
Sex, reason for immigration and country background
 
Both sexes550 8461.434.026.720.816.1
Males286 1680.935.130.617.914.6
Females264 6781.932.822.424.017.6
 
Labour
Total185 1300.319.035.522.222.0
Europe except Turkey
Males117 5430.321.444.317.415.7
Females46 5710.215.123.930.729.0
Africa
Males2 0561.527.720.720.328.7
Females6692.125.318.124.229.3
Asia including Turkey
Males8 8940.813.19.630.945.1
Females3 3390.711.612.937.836.5
North America
Males1 2640.26.67.833.650.6
Females717:3.84.734.656.3
Oceania
Males737:10.614.535.836.9
Females238-7.67.645.437.8
South- and Central-America
Males1 9080.614.516.122.645.2
Females1 1940.617.615.524.040.8
 
Family
Total200 0451.439.224.820.712.7
Europe except Turkey
Males20 3500.242.031.815.59.6
Females51 1120.225.128.123.621.6
Africa
Males11 8831.256.922.813.74.6
Females16 6823.453.821.715.54.6
Asia including Turkey
Males23 2931.147.524.917.18.4
Females61 7202.842.621.522.69.6
North America
Males1 5900.214.217.539.627.6
Females1 9580.510.914.039.234.2
Oceania
Males361-12.227.736.622.4
Females230:13.518.741.325.2
South- and Central-America
Males3 1780.637.826.119.514.5
Females7 6880.729.324.324.419.5
 
Refugee
Total130 8483.152.921.216.35.4
Europe except Turkey
Males12 0970.330.039.721.17.7
Females11 3631.229.635.623.58.6
Africa
Males25 9972.663.516.612.33.9
Females17 5717.060.918.910.01.8
Asia including Turkey
Males41 9922.056.417.317.16.2
Females21 2465.152.718.117.85.4
North America
Males15-26.740.026.7:
Females12-33.325.025.0:
Oceania
Males::::::
Females::::::
South- and Central-America
Males269:34.226.824.212.3
Females283:37.827.222.68.5
 
Education
Total31 9490.111.510.231.545.5
Europe except Turkey
Males4 4800.113.69.024.452.0
Females8 6250.010.48.633.746.1
Africa
Males1 564:8.64.224.761.5
Females1 0220.410.811.429.445.7
Asia including Turkey
Males4 318:5.56.625.361.7
Females9 3170.115.015.738.429.3
North America
Males461-10.04.327.557.9
Females630:7.03.534.953.5
Oceania
Males66-10.66.119.763.6
Females70-12.9:27.155.7
South- and Central-America
Males562-8.55.220.364.4
Females834:15.810.827.244.5
 
Other
Total2 8740.821.721.928.426.1
Europe except Turkey
Males796:18.625.029.125.9
Females7900.416.721.526.333.7
Africa
Males87:36.817.228.713.8
Females2543.155.119.315.05.9
Asia including Turkey
Males2751.123.321.132.720.7
Females4061.017.524.635.720.2
North America
Males79-12.712.738.036.7
Females74-12.213.531.143.2
Oceania
Males15--20.020.060.0
Females6---50.050.0
South- and Central-America
Males37-18.921.618.940.5
Females55-20.010.923.643.6

About the statistics

Educational Attainment of the Population includes residents in Norway as of October 1, aged 16 years or older by the end of the calendar year. Fifteen-year-olds who have completed compulsory education or who are enrolled in education beyond compulsory level are also included.

Definitions

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Completed education: Educational activities that are completed at an educational institution during the period in question.

Immigrants: Persons born abroad of two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents: Persons who are born in Norway of two parents born abroad, and in addition have four grandparents born abroad.

Age: Calculated as of December 31.

The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS): is a 6-digit code system that classifies educational activities by level and field, where the 1st digit indicates the level of education. The level classification is intended to give the best possible notion of the educational system structure in Norway. Furthermore, 2-4 digits indicate detailed field division. The entire six-digits state the specific study programs.

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): is the international statistical standard for classification of education.

Education level: The definitions of the various educational levels used in the statistics on the Educational Attainment of the Population are as follows: 

COMPULSORY SCHOOL LEVEL: Compulsory schooling (in the statistics called “Below upper secondary education”) in Norway is divided into a primary level and a lower secondary level. The primary level consists of grades 1-7 while the lower secondary level consists of grades 8-10. In the statistics, it includes (i)-(iv):

(i) Individuals with educational attainment at only primary level. This information is derived from surveys and implies to a large extent to immigrants who have stated primary level as their highest educational attainment.

  • NUS-level = 1
  • ISCED2011-level = 1

(ii) All individuals who complete compulsory schooling, regardless of their results.

  • NUS2000-level = 2
  • ISCED2011-level = 2

(iii) From the school-year 1975/1976 up to and including the school-year 1994/1995: All individuals who have completed upper secondary education with a duration of less than two years, i.e. mainly study programs at primary level.

  • NUS-level = 2
  • ISCED2011-level = 2

(iv) From the school-year 1995/1996 onwards: All individuals who have completed upper secondary education with a duration of less than three years, i.e. mainly study programs at primary level and upper secondary level-I courses.

  • NUS-level = 2
  • ISCED2011-level = 2 

UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL: People who have completed both primary and lower secondary education or the equivalent have the right to three years’ full-time upper secondary education, either general theoretical education or vocational education and training. In the statistics, it includes (i)-(iv):

(i) All individuals who have completed upper secondary education prior to 1974/1975, regardless of the education’s length.

  • NUS-level = 3 and 4
  • ISCED2011-level = 3

(ii) From the school-year 1975/1976 up to and including the school-year 1994/1995: All individuals who have completed upper secondary education with a duration of two years or more, i.e. mainly upper secondary level-I and level-II courses.

  • NUS-level = 4
  • ISCED2011-level = 3 

(iii) From the school-year 1995/1996 onwards: All individuals who have completed upper secondary education with a duration of three years or more, i.e. mainly upper secondary level-II courses/third-year upper secondary courses.

  • NUS-level = 4
  • ISCED2011-level = 3 

(iv) From the school-year 1998/1999 onwards: All individuals who have obtained less than 120 credits at tertiary level, and who do not have a tertiary vocational education with a duration of less than two years.

  • NUS-level = 4
  • ISCED2011-level = 3 

TERTIARY VOCATIONAL EDUCATION LEVEL: Includes all individuals who completed tertiary vocational education (both 2-years and 2-years or more), but which are not approved as higher education (i.e. academic tertiary education).

  • NUS-level = 5
  • ISCED2011-level = 3, 4 (duration of less than 2 years) and 5 (2 years or more) 

HIGHER EDUCATION – undergraduate level:

(i) All individuals who have completed a tertiary education with a duration of up to four years.

  • NUS-level = 6
  • ISCED2011-level = 5, 6 and 7 (one-year master’s programs) 

(ii) From the academic-year 1998/1999 onwards: All individuals who have obtained 120 credits or more at tertiary level, regardless of obtaining a degree.

  • NUS-level = 6
  • ISCED2011-level = 5

HIGHER EDUCATION – postgraduate level:

(i) All individuals who have completed a tertiary education with a duration of more than four years.

  • NUS-level = 7
  • ISCED2011-level = 7

(ii) All individuals who have completed a doctoral degree.

  • NUS-level = 8
  • ISCED2011-level = 8

Standard classifications

Educational activities are grouped by the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS) which was established in 1970 by Statistics Norway and later revised in 1973, 1989 and 2000. Educational institutions are classified as being higher education by the Standard Industrial Classification.

For international purposes, the ISCED 2011 is used (International Standard Classification of Education).

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Educational attainment of the population
Topic: Education

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Regional level

National, county and municipal level. In addition, figures for districts in the four largest cities are presented.

Frequency and timeliness

The statistics are published annually in June and refer to October 1 the previous year as the counting date.

International reporting

Data on enrolment is delivered to OECD, UNESCO and Eurostat (U-O-E).

Microdata

Statistics Norway stores all data in a proper, standardised manner in consultation with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

Statistics Norway can deliver supplementary data and tables related to these statistics. To order supplementary data and tables, please contact Statistics Norway at oppdragutdanning@ssb.no. The price will depend on the size of the order.

Background

Background and purpose

The purpose of the statistics is to present individual-based statistics on the Educational Attainment of the Population. The statistics are government-funded.

Statistics on the Educational Attainment of the Population have previously been compiled in conjunction with the census of 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1980. In addition, a status report on the Educational Attainment of the Population was compiled in 1975. Data on educational attainment for the entire population was for the last time collected as part of the Population and Housing Census in 1970 (FoB70).

Based on census data, as well as the annual files on completed educations in Norway, data on educational attainment was updated from 1970 to November 11, 1980. Completed educations abroad between 1970 and 1980 were obtained from the 1980 Population and Housing Census (FoB80). In addition, three surveys have been conducted for individuals with a completed education abroad before immigrating to Norway:

1. In the spring of 1991, a survey called “Utdanning fullført i utlandet,” collected data on completed educations taken abroad by foreign-born individuals who had immigrated to Norway for the first time between November 1, 1980 and December 12, 1990 and who were in the age group 16 years and above the first year of their stay.

2. In 1999, a similar survey was conducted, where the respondents were all registered Norwegian residents with foreign background and missing educational attainment in the database of the Educational Attainment of the Population. Also included in the survey were non-respondents to the 1991 survey and Norwegians who were living abroad and registered with missing educational attainment when the Educational Attainment of the Population was initially created in 1970.

3. In the autumn of 2011, a similar survey, called “Undersøkelse om utdanning 2011,” was again conducted. Statistics Norway sent out a questionnaire to more than 217,000 immigrants residing in Norway who as of October 1, 2011 had no registered education in the database of the Educational Attainment of the Population. Lack of information on educational attainment applies mainly to individuals who have graduated in countries other than Norway. Individuals under the age of 20 were not included in the survey due to the assumption that they would probably encounter the Norwegian education system and would be reported through the educational institutions’ reports. Prior to the survey, Statistics Norway lacked educational information for 43 per cent of all immigrants aged 16 and over. The survey resulted in this proportion being reduced to 20.4 per cent.

The number of immigrants with missing educational attainment has continued to increase every year following previous survey. As of October 1, 2014, 25 per cent of resident immigrants were registered with missing educational attainment in the database of the Educational Attainment of the Population. To better shed light on the level of immigrants’ educational attainment, including those for whom this information is lacking, statistical methods have been used as of October 1, 2014 to estimate the level of educational attainment for this group. It implies that Statistics Norway can provide statistics on immigrants with missing educational attainment at aggregate level, but not at individual level. The statistical methods are described in detail in the section “Production.” 

Users and applications

Important users of the education statistics are public administration, special interest organizations, the media, researchers, business and industry. Key users among the ministries are the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. The statistics are also used by international organizations such as the EU, the OECD and UNESCO.

In addition, the statistics are used internally in Statistics Norway in publications and in assignments.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8:00 AM. Prior to this, a minimum of three months’ advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

Education statistics are individually based and therefore easily linked to other individual-based statistics at Statistics Norway. Education statistics are used comprehensively by labour market statistics, health statistics, living conditions statistics and income and wage statistics. The education statistics are also used in various sample surveys directed by Statistics Norway.

Legal authority

The Statistics Act of June 16, 1989, sections 2-1, 2-2 and 3-2.

EEA reference

Commission Regulation (EU) No 88/2011 of 2 February 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on education and training systems.

Production

Population

The database of the Educational Attainment of the Population encompasses all individuals registered as residents in Norway as of October 1, aged 16 or older at the end of the calendar year. Fifteen-year-olds who have completed compulsory education or who are enrolled in education beyond compulsory level are also included.

Data sources and sampling

The database of the Educational Attainment of the Population is based on the 1970 Population and Housing Census. Annual files of completed educations are also utilized to produce statistics on the Educational Attainment of the Population. Additional data on completed educations is obtained from the State Educational Loan Fund, Norway (Lånekassen) for individuals who complete their education abroad with financial support from Lånekassen. Data from Lånekassen was first collected in 1992 for the years 1986 to 1992 and has ever since 1993 been collected annually. From 2001 onwards, the data base has been supplemented with data from the National Diploma Database (NVB) and the Health Personnel Register (HPR). Completed educations files for the years 2001-2002 have also been updated with data from NVB and HPR. From 2008, 2017 and 2018 onwards, the database has been, respectively, supplemented with annual data from the Database of Foreign Nationals (UDB), the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV).

In 2020, the database of the Educational Attainment of the Population was supplemented with data on completed educations from the statistical agencies in Iceland, Finland and Denmark. These are mainly educations completed before 2019 in one of the mentioned countries by individuals who either have been or are residents in Norway.

The database of the Educational Attainment of the Population is extracted directly from the Statistics Norway’s National Education Database (NUDB). NUDB covers the following educational statistics: completed educations as of school-year 1970/1971; enrolment from the school-year 1974/1975; and data on the Educational Attainment of the Population from the 1970 census. The basis for the extraction from NUDB is being resident in Norway in the age group 16 years or over as of October 1 the current year. If several educational activities are registered for one individual, the one with the highest level is selected, classified according to the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000). If level does not differentiate the educational activities, the one with the highest-grade level is selected. If grade level does not differentiate the educational activities, the one which does not have any code for general field of study in NUS2000 is selected. If the field of study can neither distinguish between the educational activities, the one with the latest graduation date is selected. And if the graduation date does not separate the educational activities, one is selected randomly.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data collection: Data on completed compulsory education (in the statistics called “Below upper secondary education”) is obtained from the county municipal admission system to upper secondary education, called “VIGO,” which is also the most important source of data for upper secondary education.

Pursuant to the Statistics Act of June 16, 1989, Statistics Norway collects educational data on tertiary vocational colleges, university colleges and universities from Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH), Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD), and the administrative systems of various higher education institutions.

Editing: Editing includes both control and revision and is performed on all educational data collected. It encompasses deletion of duplicate records, a control for correct and valid values for each variable, comparisons with last year’s data and checks for missing information. Several variables are re-coded to comply with control programs run by Statistics Norway. Personal ID-numbers are referenced against Statistics Norway’s population database to check for errors. At last, duplicate students are deleted, which implies that a student can only be counted once although the student may be registered for several educational activities or educational institutions at the same time.

Estimation: As of October 1, 2014, statistical measures have been implemented to provide better statistics at aggregate level on immigrants with missing educational attainment. Educational attainment is computed using a statistical method called “predictive mean matching,” which is derived from “nearest neighbour method.” It implies finding a donor, an individual who is as similar to the individual with missing educational attainment as possible but with known educational attainment and using their observed value. Then, by using various background variables of individuals, a regression model is adapted for the available data. By utilizing the regression model, both individuals with known and missing educational attainment are attributed a predicted value. In this way, the predicted value of the donor is used to impute an educational attainment value that replaces the missing value for the individual with no educational attainment. Thus, the most probable value of educational attainment is attributed to each individual with missing educational attainment. Auxiliary variables used to find the “nearest neighbour” are gender, age, country background, immigration category, citizenship, registered date of immigration to Norway, occupation and income. For a more detailed explanation of the method, see Jentoft (2014).

The imputation method implies that Statistics Norway can present representative statistics at aggregate level for immigrants with missing educational attainment. The statistics provide a better notion at aggregate level but are not intended for use on small populations. Imputed values should not be included for imputation of other characteristics. Researchers can decide whether they want to use datasets with or without imputation method for their purpose.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant.

Confidentiality

The general rule is not to publish data if less than 3 individuals are found within a cell or unit in a table. This is to prevent identification of individuals within the statistics.

Comparability over time and space

Systematic data collection on the Educational Attainment of the Population began in 1970. Prior to this, data on the Educational Attainment of the Population was compiled in conjunction with the census of 1950 and 1960.

Comparability of the Educational Attainment of the Population registered in 1970 and 1980 could cause inconsistency if a detailed education level breakdown is desired. Nevertheless, the following three main levels should be used if one wants to compare over time: compulsory school level schooling (in the statistics called “Below upper secondary education”), upper secondary level, and higher education.

In the past, data on completed higher education contained less detailed information, due to the fact student data that was reported to Statistics Norway by universities and university colleges consisted of study programs with large and compact courses. For students who took exams in, for instance, mathematical and natural science faculties this led to their educational attainment not being updated before completing their “cand.mag-degee” (“cand.mag” is a former degree and title obtained after three or four years of undergraduate study, similar to a bachelor’s degree). From the academic year of 1998/1999, data on credits obtained for every course in a study program at higher education level was collected. Subsequently, after a restructuration of the data collection, the data base includes all exams taken at tertiary vocational colleges, university colleges and universities. From 1998/1999, this implied that an attainment at a specific higher education level could also be obtained on the basis of the sum of credits obtained, in addition to attainment by completing the education at higher education level. For example, if a student obtained a total of 120 credits in mathematical and natural sciences at higher education, the student would be attributed educational attainment of higher education – undergraduate level.

However, as of 2006, changes have been made to the level definitions in all the statistics of the Educational attainment of the Population. The changes were done primarily to increase the harmonization between the Norwegian level definitions and international guidelines. In general, the requirements to be defined at upper secondary level and higher education was restricted.

Comparability of immigrants’ educational attainment over time is influenced by the fact that all immigrants with missing educational attainment has been attributed an educational attainment level as of 2014 (see section “Collection of data, editing and estimations” above).

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

There is no educational information on completed education by Norwegian-born individuals abroad between 1980 and 1986. In 1992, data on Norwegian-born individuals who were studying abroad between 1986-1992 and who received financial support were obtained from the State Educational Loan Fund, Norway (Lånekassen). This kind of information has ever since been obtained annually from Lånekassen.

The education statistics are not based on sample selection, and Statistics Norway attempts to embrace every pupil and student that the statistics by definition should include. There could be cases of pupils and students not being included in the statistics. This may be due to inadequate reporting or Statistics Norway not being aware of all relevant data registry sources.

Revision

Possible errors may be related to the educational files that form the basis for the statistics on the Educational Attainment of the Population or errors in the responses of respondents in some of the surveys, although most errors are identified in the control and audit routines at Statistics Norway. See general principles for revisions in Statistics Norway.