This is an archived release.
Higher education among the young increasing
A growing share of the population has a higher education. The share has been rising steadily for many years and now almost 1 in 3 people have a higher education. More than half of women aged 25-39 years have a higher education and consequently make up the age group with the largest share with a higher education among the population.
|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. For more information see About the statistics.|
|2Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as tertiary 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.|
|5People with unknown or no completed education are not included.|
|Total||1 923 950||1 953 809||2 091 035||2 083 780|
|Below upper secondary education||539 537||573 165||566 040||564 157|
|Upper secondary education2||845 754||765 190||923 455||789 770|
|Higher education, short3||323 217||462 298||387 392||554 944|
|Higher education, long4||154 031||101 032||200 472||159 222|
|Unknown or no completed education1||61 411||52 124||13 676||15 687|
|Below upper secondary education||29.0||30.1||27.2||27.3|
|Upper secondary education2||45.4||40.2||44.5||38.2|
|Higher education, short3||17.4||24.3||18.6||26.8|
|Higher education, long4||8.3||5.3||9.7||7.7|
The number of women taking a higher education has been increasing for many years, and the share has increased more among women than among men. The share of men with a higher education is now generally lower than for women. Twenty-eight per cent of men and 35 per cent of women in the population aged 16 and over have completed a higher education.
The disparities are primarily due to a much higher percentage of women than men completing a short higher education; 27 per cent of women and 19 per cent of men. Additionally, the share of men with an upper secondary education as their highest level of education (45 per cent) is larger than for women (38 per cent). The share of men with a long higher education is two percentage points higher (10 per cent) than for women (8 per cent).
Highest education among young women
Out of all age groups, it is women aged 25-39 years who have the largest share with a higher education among the population. More than half have completed a higher education. For the age group 30-34 years, almost six out of ten have a higher education, and almost one in five have a long higher education. Among men aged 25-39 years, around a third have a higher education.
Only among the more mature members of the population is the situation reversed. For those aged 60 years and over, there is still a higher share of men with a higher education than women.
In the period from 1985 to 2014, the changes in the share of the population with a lower secondary education as their highest education have been considerable. In 1985, 46 per cent of the population had a lower secondary education as the highest level, while this share had fallen to 27 per cent in 2014. The share with an upper secondary education as their highest level has remained fairly stable, with the share varying between 41 and 45 per cent of the population.
At the higher level most have an education in natural sciences
Of those with a long tertiary education, 30 per cent have an education in the field of science, vocational and technical subjects. Among men with a long higher education, the largest share is in this field (39 per cent). The share of women with a long higher education is greatest in the social sciences and law (20 per cent). Almost the same share of women have an education in health and social care. Among the short higher educations, most women’s education is in health and social care and sport. Thirty-four per cent of those who have completed a short higher education have completed studies in this field.
New routine for calculating immigrants’ level of education
As of 1 October 2014, Statistics Norway’s register of the population’s highest completed education lacks information on education level for about 25 per cent of immigrants aged 16 and over. This relates to education that is completed abroad before immigration to Norway. The number with an unspecified education grows year by year (see table) as the number of immigrants increases, and it is expected that the number will continue to increase. In order to provide a representative picture of immigrants’ level of education, Statistics Norway has introduced a new routine for calculating the level of education for immigrants with an unspecified education in the register. More information about this new routine, the method used and the effect it has had on the statistics is available in About the statistics. The new routine enables Statistics Norway to present statistics for immigrants with an unspecified education, and provide accurate information on the level of education at an aggregate level.
In order to create representative statistics on immigrants’ education at an aggregate level, Statistics Norway has introduced a new routine to calculate the level of education for immigrants with unspecified education in the register. For 2014, this applies to 25 per cent of immigrants and 3.6 per cent of the total population aged 16 and over. More details of this new routine, the method used and the effect it has had on the statistics are available in About the statistics.