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

Corrected:

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.12
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.
2Corrected 12 August 2020.
Level of education, in total4 117 8094 371 2742 193 9612 177 313
Below upper secondary education1 103 2381 100 884568 264532 620
Upper secondary education1 650 4831 609 559869 358740 201
Tertiary vocational education129 03582 55346 482
Higher education, short887 1541 057 705427 611630 094
Higher education, long288 512448 184234 055214 129
Of this:
Ph.D.28 15845 40426 10619 298
Unknown or no completed education160 26425 90712 12013 787
Per cent
Below upper secondary education27.925.326.024.6
Upper secondary education41.737.039.834.2
Tertiary vocational education3.03.82.1
Higher education, short22.424.319.629.1
Higher education, long7.310.310.79.9
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 attainment12
2019
Population 1OctoberHighest completed education
TotalBasic school levelUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education3Higher education, short4Higher education, long5
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.
2Corrected 12 August 2020.
3Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher 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.
Total4 371 27425.337.03.024.310.3
16-19 years254 65585.614.40.00.0-
20-24 years339 53025.250.71.422.00.7
25-29 years369 01821.727.42.834.713.4
30-34 years372 36320.826.23.230.719.1
35-39 years352 13419.228.63.130.318.8
40-49 years721 27516.235.33.530.314.6
50-59 years703 86921.139.14.425.310.1
60-66 years422 34621.343.73.923.18.0
67 years or older836 08426.847.52.317.36.2
 
Males2 193 96126.039.83.819.610.7
16-19 years130 93088.111.90.00.0-
20-24 years175 88629.852.91.515.20.6
25-29 years188 72224.933.73.726.511.2
30-34 years189 95923.831.64.223.716.7
35-39 years180 60021.833.84.123.117.1
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 31324.634.22.129.19.9
16-19 years123 72582.917.00.00.0-
20-24 years163 64420.148.41.329.30.9
25-29 years180 29618.420.81.843.315.7
30-34 years182 40417.820.52.138.121.5
35-39 years171 53416.423.01.938.020.7
40-49 years351 13314.929.82.637.615.2
50-59 years343 60120.835.63.530.69.4
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 attainment12
NumbersPer cent
NumbersBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education3Higher education, short4Higher education, long5Unknown or no completed educationBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education3Higher education, short4Higher education, long5
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.
2Corrected 12 August 2020.
3Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher 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.
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 961568 264869 35882 553427 611234 05512 12026.039.83.819.610.7
Østfold (-2019)122 82338 05452 2033 54520 5667 71973631.242.82.916.86.3
Akershus (-2019)251 15361 93491 4577 18754 66934 4991 40724.836.62.921.913.8
Oslo282 87159 79575 5466 25277 13361 6922 45321.326.92.227.522.0
Hedmark (-2019)82 34225 80835 1902 86413 1024 88349531.543.03.516.06.0
Oppland (-2019)79 24923 39035 3303 01812 3604 76838329.744.83.815.76.0
Buskerud (-2019)116 72433 13247 1984 34921 5519 84664828.540.73.718.68.5
Vestfold (-2019)102 78826 91943 0344 22720 1017 90560226.342.14.119.77.7
Telemark (-2019)71 55520 01631 7923 02111 7274 59540428.144.74.216.56.5
Aust-Agder (-2019)48 21912 40820 7502 5168 5773 70726125.943.35.217.97.7
Vest-Agder (-2019)75 77218 87732 9533 43314 0106 11838125.043.74.618.68.1
Rogaland192 17246 56681 5008 44934 30120 40095624.442.64.417.910.7
Hordaland (-2019)215 45150 68988 6079 32542 97822 88297023.641.34.320.010.7
Sogn og Fjordane (-2019)45 36111 43121 2202 2787 4932 74719225.347.05.016.66.1
Møre og Romsdal110 46729 53348 2256 41119 1826 62049626.943.95.817.46.0
Trøndelag - Trööndelage193 09847 06581 6326 62635 86421 20970224.542.43.418.611.0
Nordland101 60131 13243 0804 42516 4606 02647830.842.64.416.36.0
Troms - Romsa (-2019)69 76819 88527 1433 19312 5166 72630528.639.14.618.09.7
Finnmark - Finnmárku (-2019)32 44111 59012 4801 4334 9851 70325036.038.84.515.55.3
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 313532 620740 20146 482630 094214 12913 78724.634.22.129.19.9
Østfold (-2019)123 64636 71645 2822 94731 2666 56886729.936.92.425.55.3
Akershus (-2019)252 10256 51481 2946 36876 40429 9431 57922.632.42.530.512.0
Oslo287 37853 71167 0616 26597 16259 8423 33718.923.62.234.221.1
Hedmark (-2019)83 30224 40730 5461 50121 7924 58347329.536.91.826.35.5
Oppland (-2019)79 22421 35330 8581 52120 7814 32139027.139.11.926.45.5
Buskerud (-2019)116 16730 71141 7062 87331 5618 51779926.636.22.527.47.4
Vestfold (-2019)104 49625 92839 0062 58329 4026 92864925.037.62.528.36.7
Telemark (-2019)72 22319 95727 3541 42719 1323 90145227.838.12.026.75.4
Aust-Agder (-2019)47 62612 50717 7031 01113 1562 98226726.437.42.127.86.3
Vest-Agder (-2019)75 99418 46928 8691 45221 6335 09447724.538.21.928.66.7
Rogaland187 29745 98765 1784 17853 26017 5941 10024.735.02.228.69.4
Hordaland (-2019)211 77549 35372 1194 67362 98921 6081 03323.434.22.229.910.3
Sogn og Fjordane (-2019)43 73610 26917 32169512 5152 76517123.639.81.628.76.3
Møre og Romsdal106 32927 24240 2122 10029 8606 39651925.738.02.028.26.0
Trøndelag - Trööndelage188 40344 19367 3333 37354 96517 76477523.635.91.829.39.5
Nordland99 34428 75536 3801 77726 1325 86843229.136.81.826.45.9
Troms - Romsa (-2019)67 80717 67822 1151 14519 3187 26029126.232.81.728.610.8
Finnmark - Finnmárku (-2019)30 2878 8059 8295888 7202 17417129.232.62.029.07.2
County not stated177653554621537.820.32.926.712.2

Table 3 
Districts in Oslo and educational attainment

Districts in Oslo and educational attainment12
2019
NumbersPer cent
TotalBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTeritary vocational education3Higher educationUnknown or not completed education1Below upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTeritary vocational education3Higher 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
2Corrected 12 August 2020.
3Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher education.
Oslo total569 667113 385142 57812 516295 4255 76320.125.32.252.4
Gamle Oslo48 8309 98610 6371 01226 58760820.722.12.155.1
Grünerløkka53 6599 16311 5671 15931 31245817.221.72.258.9
Sagene39 0455 8707 16669224 97234515.218.51.864.5
St. Hanshaugen34 5684 6126 79467322 28120813.419.82.064.8
Frogner53 0076 63511 3031 19933 45541512.621.52.363.6
Ullern27 7503 3136 06772717 49614712.022.02.663.4
Vestre Aker39 1034 6968 08693925 14024212.120.82.464.7
Nordre Aker41 6435 4799 11983026 04017513.222.02.062.8
Bjerke26 0576 7537 38956611 03131826.228.72.242.9
Grorud22 5007 5287 3244426 85035634.033.12.030.9
Stovner26 5059 7959 0174556 69754137.734.71.825.8
Alna39 83512 76112 85584612 64872532.632.92.232.3
Østensjø40 4448 75912 7091 07817 61528321.831.62.743.9
Nordstrand41 7696 99512 0341 19821 26327916.929.02.951.2
Søndre Nordstrand30 2009 6739 07760610 27357132.630.62.034.7
Sentrum1 446286389347241320.027.12.450.5
Marka1 34426747429570419.935.42.242.5
Unknown urban district Oslo1 962814571314717543.130.31.625.0

Table 4 
Immigrants by country background and educational attainment

Immigrants by country background and educational attainment12
2019
Level of education, in totalNo completed educationBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vokational education3Higher education, short4Higher education, long5
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.
2Corrected 12 August 2020.
3Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher 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.
Total715 23810 313226 147195 2348 695160 513114 336
Poland92 13412019 31943 37394614 37414 002
Sweden34 0851434 73112 04448011 2895 398
Germany23 281414 8685 8572485 9066 361
Iraq21 96654010 0295 1452144 5101 528
Lithuania36 38217710 64710 60425210 3744 328
Denmark18 150192 7536 8514164 9343 177
Somalia25 5191 80916 5414 5151382 090426
Pakistan19 9928969 1304 0841883 5672 127
Iran17 4393955 2393 9313454 2393 290
Philippines21 5771335 1414 9213038 2852 794
Vietnam13 9055775 6923 8612202 3451 210
Russia17 047374 0603 3472593 7465 598
Bosnia-Herzegovina13 6011012 7855 5121973 4501 556
United Kingdom13 861462 1322 7601575 4673 299
Thailand19 39859510 0594 4971483 190909
Turkey11 6683585 9092 8671131 554867
Afghanistan16 0669639 3293 179771 937581
Kosovo10 127863 8053 7811141 936405
Sri Lanka9 0231093 5312 8292641 617673
United States8 551269131 163903 1743 185
India12 710901 8611 3361174 9134 393
China8 8951241 8291 368752 3963 103
Eritrea20 01136314 1323 2552311 661369
Chile6 025611 5872 2141531 448562
Finland6 313158041 9551742 0721 293
Netherlands7 298189352 019762 3691 881
Latvia9 549362 5223 404872 3581 142
Romania13 746313 5294 5931333 0682 392
Iceland6 198101 5051 9192511 617896
Morocco5 9123742 7401 46672993267
Ethiopia7 5571643 3991 6681231 354849
France5 27810615606361 5502 461
Estonia4 187181 0811 495531 058482
Brazil5 099601 6621 023801 0941 180
Ukraine5 50118819828811 4412 314
Bulgaria6 572291 9942 029691 2641 187
Croatia4 679261 2831 81160884615
Spain5 557181 345795421 4271 930
Slovakia3 529215391 73438546651
Myanmar3 037781 74968835379108
Serbia6 186111 3501 918991 4041 404
North Macedonia2 801461 16287323466231
Hungary3 560115851 07945905935
Italy4 11812877880286781 643
Palestine2 916151 27755837700329
Lebanon1 8612981343521376187
Canada1 924522125823695722
Czech Republic2 0521324170224483589
Ghana1 9601852342433473489
Congo2 8451251 45559757470141
Syria22 70251515 1411 6921553 9351 264
Australia1 678323422931664517
Portugal3 08720954597164921 008
Sudan3 915982 25355031685298
Colombia2 0771150838536492645
Switzerland1 404319734818416423
Nigeria1 8273445437727436499
Kenya1 7261354338634524226
Algeria1 2352242031714260202
Indonesia1 382533026414406363
Austria1 260316534017280455
Gambia1 155264854133115248

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 education12
2019
TotalBelow upper secondary educationUpper secondary educationTertiary vocational education3Higher education, short4Higher education, long5Unknown 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.
2Corrected 12 August 2020.
3Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as higher 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.
Total57 75522 88616 10373511 4954 9911 545
General programmes32 72022 8819 805331-..
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 54432 2861882 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 7151133394291 545
 
Males29 77113 0978 2193664 9332 337819
General programmes17 89613 0944 78022--..
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 study8901484216819
 
Females27 9849 7897 8843696 5622 654726
General programmes14 8249 7875 025111-..
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 06721368596325..
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 study825-9255213726

Table 6 
Reason for immigration and educational attainment

Reason for immigration and educational attainment123
2019
NumbersPer cent
TotalNo completed educationBasic school levelUpper secondary education4Higher education, short5Higher education, long6
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.
3Corrected 12 August 2020.
4Includes intermediate level courses based on completed upper secondary level, but which are not accredited as tertiary education
5Higher education, short comprises higher education up to 4 years in duration.
6Higher education, long comprises higher education more than 4 years in duration.
 
Sex, reason for immigration and country background
 
Both sexes573 5011.433.926.121.216.4
Males297 9550.935.030.018.215.0
Females275 5461.932.621.824.618.0
 
Labour
Total197 0750.319.534.422.622.3
Europe except Turkey
Males123 8120.322.143.417.515.9
Females49 3180.215.623.330.829.1
Africa
Males2 2721.427.018.722.729.2
Females7591.723.316.926.930.2
Asia including Turkey
Males10 1710.812.98.732.744.5
Females3 6910.611.611.438.737.2
North America
Males1 4510.37.16.135.150.4
Females874:5.13.734.955.7
Oceania
Males8490.412.812.836.535.8
Females288-9.76.947.634.4
South- and Central-America
Males2 2350.515.314.223.845.1
Females1 3550.518.013.824.042.2
 
Family
Total206 0061.539.024.321.113.1
Europe except Turkey
Males20 7190.242.231.315.59.7
Females52 6300.225.427.523.721.8
Africa
Males12 0751.356.522.713.85.0
Females17 0903.553.121.416.14.9
Asia including Turkey
Males23 8091.147.424.417.48.8
Females63 9292.841.920.923.410.1
North America
Males1 6720.214.016.339.529.1
Females2 1130.410.812.740.234.7
Oceania
Males375-14.125.638.920.3
Females254:13.816.944.923.2
South- and Central-America
Males3 2890.637.625.519.615.2
Females8 0510.829.623.524.420.0
 
Refugee
Total132 7703.153.021.016.35.4
Europe except Turkey
Males12 1070.330.139.721.07.6
Females11 3811.229.635.523.48.6
Africa
Males26 3032.763.516.412.43.9
Females17 9607.260.918.510.12.0
Asia including Turkey
Males42 6642.056.517.316.96.3
Females21 7615.152.417.718.35.5
North America
Males15-26.740.026.7:
Females12-33.325.025.0:
Oceania
Males::::::
Females::::::
South- and Central-America
Males275:35.623.624.413.8
Females289:38.127.321.19.7
 
Education
Total34 5030.112.79.532.843.7
Europe except Turkey
Males4 889:15.58.225.949.5
Females9 1400.112.08.134.344.5
Africa
Males1 6660.58.84.926.558.5
Females1 0790.612.010.330.644.2
Asia including Turkey
Males4 688:6.36.127.659.1
Females10 1490.215.414.739.728.5
North America
Males510-14.34.127.853.5
Females711:9.43.038.348.1
Oceania
Males78-16.73.825.653.8
Females78-16.7:26.951.3
South- and Central-America
Males609-10.34.619.464.4
Females9060.316.49.928.343.5
 
Other
Total3 1471.021.620.429.226.8
Europe except Turkey
Males8670.317.524.230.126.9
Females8580.318.219.727.233.3
Africa
Males994.041.415.226.312.1
Females2734.453.516.119.05.1
Asia including Turkey
Males3021.322.520.930.823.5
Females4311.217.923.235.321.6
North America
Males84-10.714.335.739.3
Females87-5.713.839.141.4
Oceania
Males22-13.6:36.445.5
Females8-:-50.037.5
South- and Central-America
Males47-21.317.017.044.7
Females69-18.810.124.644.9

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.