Educational attainment of the population

Updated: 11 June 2024

Next update: Not yet determined

Share of the population 16+ that has attained short or long higher education
Share of the population 16+ that has attained short or long higher education
2023
37.4
%
Level of education for persons 16 years and older
Level of education for persons 16 years and older1
20182023
TotalTotal shareShare femalesTotalTotal shareShare females
Level of education, in total4 339 490100.0100.04 569 268100.0100.0
Below upper secondary education1 111 54025.825.21 064 19123.422.4
Upper secondary education1 603 06637.234.51 633 61135.932.6
Tertiary vocational education125 7882.92.1147 0533.22.5
Higher education1 471 13534.138.21 700 61337.442.6
Unknown or no completed education27 961..23 800..
1For 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 and definitions of education levels. Tertiary vocational education was prior to 2016 included in upper secondary education.
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Age groups and educational attainment
    Age groups and educational attainment1
    2023
    Population October 1Highest completed education
    TotalBasic school levelUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education2 Higher education, short3 Higher education, long4
    Total4 569 26823.435.93.225.412.0
    16-19 years263 68386.213.80.00.00.0
    20-24 years333 03520.753.11.323.81.1
    25-29 years367 07317.627.73.035.815.9
    30-34 years395 49418.525.43.631.920.6
    35-39 years380 40318.626.33.830.121.2
    40-49 years718 26016.531.73.530.318.0
    50-59 years744 31917.438.44.627.412.2
    60-66 years441 90123.539.64.223.78.9
    67 years or older925 10023.147.42.719.77.0
    Males2 291 91424.439.34.020.411.9
    16-19 years135 57688.611.40.00.00.0
    20-24 years171 14424.856.61.316.50.8
    25-29 years188 16520.635.13.827.513.0
    30-34 years201 78921.331.54.724.817.6
    35-39 years193 88721.531.84.923.318.5
    40-49 years366 73418.437.54.423.316.4
    50-59 years379 66918.342.15.521.912.1
    60-66 years222 86122.543.05.119.310.1
    67 years or older432 08920.147.23.618.410.7
    Females2 277 35422.432.62.530.412.2
    16-19 years128 10783.616.40.00.00.0
    20-24 years161 89116.349.41.431.61.4
    25-29 years178 90814.519.92.044.519.1
    30-34 years193 70515.519.02.539.323.8
    35-39 years186 51615.620.52.737.124.1
    40-49 years351 52614.525.72.737.519.7
    50-59 years364 65016.434.43.833.112.4
    60-66 years219 04024.436.23.428.27.8
    67 years or older493 01125.847.61.920.83.8
    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.
    Explanation of symbols
  • County of residence for educational attainment
    County of residence for educational attainment1
    NumbersPer cent
    TotalBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education2 Higher education, short3 Higher education, long4
    Males
    19851 606 11242.443.010.04.7
    19901 665 35938.344.811.75.2
    19951 701 13533.346.814.05.8
    20001 746 27031.446.515.36.7
    20051 807 42330.046.016.57.5
    20101 956 83528.645.317.68.5
    20152 117 01027.144.118.710.0
    20232 291 91424.439.34.020.411.9
    Viken (2020-2023)535 67526.138.63.320.511.5
    Oslo297 03519.925.62.228.423.9
    Innlandet158 07228.644.04.116.66.8
    Vestfold og Telemark (2020-2023)178 97725.742.64.419.28.2
    Agder130 24523.743.25.019.19.1
    Rogaland202 20222.842.04.618.611.9
    Vestland269 06422.441.64.920.011.0
    Møre og Romsdal112 88024.943.86.118.36.9
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage201 27122.842.03.819.412.0
    Nordland - Nordlánnda102 49428.442.84.717.07.1
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku (2020-2023)103 91828.339.64.917.99.3
    County not stated8147.57.52.525.017.5
    Females
    19851 673 48649.139.410.51.0
    19901 734 10944.641.112.91.4
    19951 773 11639.442.416.32.0
    20001 812 16635.942.119.12.9
    20051 868 44532.441.322.34.0
    20101 981 01229.639.924.95.7
    20152 104 97526.737.727.38.3
    20232 277 35422.432.62.530.412.2
    Viken (2020-2023)533 51723.532.82.829.711.2
    Oslo302 56117.021.72.234.824.3
    Innlandet158 82825.536.92.328.17.2
    Vestfold og Telemark (2020-2023)181 48524.035.82.829.38.1
    Agder130 52423.336.12.429.58.7
    Rogaland197 62822.433.32.729.711.9
    Vestland264 59221.233.42.431.111.8
    Møre og Romsdal109 69123.436.42.230.17.9
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage197 42621.334.32.130.611.7
    Nordland - Nordlánnda100 46025.935.82.128.18.1
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku (2020-2023)100 51624.231.92.029.911.9
    County not stated12636.516.71.630.215.1
    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.
    The table was updated 18 June 2021 at 12:25.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Districts in Oslo and educational attainment
    Districts in Oslo and educational attainment1
    2023
    NumbersPer cent
    TotalBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTeritary vocational education2 Higher education
    Oslo total599 40218.423.62.255.7
    Gamle Oslo54 31517.920.12.159.9
    Grünerløkka57 30915.419.82.262.7
    Sagene41 82313.317.31.867.6
    St. Hanshaugen35 95212.418.32.067.2
    Frogner55 01511.420.12.366.3
    Ullern29 16711.620.12.665.7
    Vestre Aker41 07811.619.62.366.6
    Nordre Aker43 82412.720.32.065.0
    Bjerke29 20623.526.52.247.7
    Grorud23 04531.632.02.334.1
    Stovner27 51435.633.32.029.1
    Alna41 03130.231.62.335.9
    Østensjø41 54519.829.22.848.2
    Nordstrand43 50115.727.22.854.3
    Søndre Nordstrand31 11631.429.72.036.9
    Sentrum1 52815.124.82.357.9
    Marka1 38717.833.62.346.3
    Unknown urban district Oslo1 04644.030.61.024.4
    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.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Immigrants by country background and educational attainment
    Immigrants by country background and educational attainment1
    2023
    Level of education, in totalNo completed educationBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vokational education2 Higher education, short3 Higher education, long4
    Total844 9598 928241 757236 25411 828196 426149 766
    Poland103 9127319 70850 8481 04316 77015 470
    Lithuania40 16014411 05913 26931211 1724 204
    Sweden35 2311264 54912 46364211 6945 757
    Syria30 48024319 5254 3642224 7101 416
    Somalia26 4301 55015 5755 7682172 719601
    Germany25 432404 8616 2483156 5427 426
    Ukraine42 639668 7247 13375110 41215 553
    Philippines23 4851135 0665 5364459 2313 094
    Iraq22 7044919 5505 4652945 0351 869
    Eritrea22 96528113 6896 0963182 132449
    Pakistan22 3307898 9764 4492334 7993 084
    Thailand21 82155810 2975 8752333 8441 014
    Iran19 6593294 9734 4173905 0194 531
    Russia20 526304 1854 0503824 6347 245
    Denmark18 035192 5136 3614375 1843 521
    Other countries369 1504 07698 50793 9125 59492 52974 532
    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.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Reason for immigration and educational attainment
    Reason for immigration and educational attainment1 2
    2023
    NumbersPer cent
    TotalNo completed educationBasic school levelUpper secondary education3 Higher education, short4 Higher education, long5
    Sex, reason for immigration and country background
    Both sexes695 7351.030.127.222.318.2
    Males352 7840.631.631.419.116.2
    Females342 9511.328.522.925.620.2
    Labour
    Total221 8390.217.535.623.122.6
    Europe
    Males134 2320.220.245.517.715.5
    Females56 6120.113.325.731.028.6
    Africa
    Males2 7360.823.718.922.932.9
    Females9150.819.615.328.235.0
    Asia
    Males13 1060.511.78.634.144.8
    Females4 8320.59.110.138.441.2
    North America
    Males1 7100.27.75.734.550.9
    Females1 104-7.23.534.454.6
    Oceania
    Males936:15.215.434.532.4
    Females309:8.18.142.139.8
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    Males3 2310.217.413.524.743.1
    Females2 1160.318.611.328.540.2
    Family
    Total247 1691.135.025.922.714.0
    Europe
    Males28 5950.238.033.416.510.5
    Females62 0260.223.028.624.821.8
    Africa
    Males14 6220.951.625.215.85.5
    Females20 6102.546.824.918.45.8
    Asia
    Males28 9020.842.425.319.910.5
    Females73 8172.137.422.325.511.5
    North America
    Males2 099:15.515.638.329.7
    Females2 5540.112.511.838.636.1
    Oceania
    Males452-14.823.237.423.7
    Females305:15.115.742.325.2
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    Males3 8640.433.426.920.017.5
    Females9 3230.625.223.625.922.5
    Refugee
    Total182 7781.943.023.018.711.9
    Europe
    Males25 5680.127.228.721.820.3
    Females35 0810.421.922.425.028.6
    Africa
    Males27 7512.356.123.013.14.2
    Females19 7775.754.124.211.92.2
    Asia
    Males47 7061.451.721.317.86.6
    Females26 1773.548.720.619.56.4
    North America
    Males15-:40.033.3:
    Females14-35.728.621.4:
    Oceania
    Males::::::
    Females::::::
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    Males337:28.822.327.018.7
    Females348:29.027.624.115.2
    Education
    Total39 8380.111.08.631.547.5
    Europe
    Males5 2380.115.89.422.151.8
    Females10 0310.111.68.130.748.3
    Africa
    Males1 904-6.03.527.162.5
    Females1 311:11.68.231.746.1
    Asia
    Males6 318-4.54.829.660.4
    Females11 4150.112.013.040.033.1
    North America
    Males686-17.92.627.052.2
    Females939:14.53.131.650.1
    Oceania
    Males80-15.03.827.553.8
    Females88-12.55.728.451.1
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    Males762-7.33.519.368.5
    Females1 066:13.09.624.451.0
    Other
    Total4 1110.620.320.530.427.0
    Europe
    Males1 263:16.621.531.829.1
    Females1 159:16.019.830.531.8
    Africa
    Males1362.239.023.523.511.0
    Females3512.351.324.215.74.8
    Asia
    Males3461.721.122.332.920.8
    Females4590.918.121.836.621.6
    North America
    Males96-10.412.534.441.7
    Females105-6.711.443.838.1
    Oceania
    Males33-15.29.133.342.4
    Females11-:-27.363.6
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    Males58-19.013.822.441.4
    Females94-17.011.719.151.1
    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.
    The table were updated with figures for 2022 5 June 2023.
    Explanation of symbols

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.

Last updated: 23 May 2024

Completed education

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

The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS)

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

Immigrants

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

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents

Persons born in Norway of two parents born abroad, and in addition have four grandparents born abroad.

Age

Calculated as of December 31.

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): 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 = 3 and 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

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, ISCED 2011 - The International Standard Classification of Education is used .

Name: Educational attainment of the population

Topic: Education

Not yet determined

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

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

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

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

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

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.

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' ('Education completed abroad') 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 16 years or older 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' ('Survery on education 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 or older. 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 the 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'.

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.

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.

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.

The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).

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.

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.

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), the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) and from 2023 the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi).

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 aged 16 years or older 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 (NUS). 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.

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.

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 is defined here as checking, examining and amending data. 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.

Not relevant.

Interviewers and everyone who works at Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality. Statistics Norway has its own data protection officer.

Statistics Norway does not publish figures where there is a risk of identifying individual data about persons.

More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.

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).

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.

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.

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