Population by educational attainment level
8 out of 10 persons in Flanders between 25 and 64 have followed upper secondary or higher education
In 2018 19% of the Flemish people aged 25 to 64 had a low level of educational attainment, 40% a medium level and 41% a high level of education. Persons with a low level of education are persons with at most a lower-secondary qualification. Persons with a medium level of education have successfully completed upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education and have not attained tertiary education. Persons with a high level of education are persons with a tertiary education qualification.
The share of persons with a low level of educational attainment dropped between 1999 and 2018 from 42% to 19%. A reverse trend is seen for persons with a medium and high level of education: in comparison with 1999, the proportions of people with a medium and high level of education have risen markedly.
Women more highly qualified than men
Women are more highly qualified than men. In 2018, 45% of women have a high level of educational attainment compared to 37% of the men. On the other hand, 20% of men have a low level of educational attainment compared to 18% of women.
Nearly half Flemish population aged 25 to 44 are highly qualified
In 2018, nearly half of the Flemish people aged 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 had a high level of educational attainment. In the age group of 55 to 64, 3 in 10 are highly educated. In this age group, 32% have a low level of educational attainment. This is markedly less in the younger age categories.
Employed 25-64 year-olds are more often high educated, inactive 25-64 year-olds are often low educated
In 2018, nearly half of the employed 25-64 year-olds had a high level of educational attainment. Among the unemployed more than 1 out of 3 is high educated. Among the inactive (people who are not in work and also those who are not looking for a job), the proportion is 2 out of 10.
Conversely, 13% of the employed have a low level of education. That proportion is 26% among the unemployed and 42% among the inactive.
Persons born outside the EU more likely to be lowly educated
In 2018, more than 4 out of 10 persons born in Belgium were highly educated. For persons born in another country of the European Union (EU), there were slightly fewer than 4 out of 10. For persons born outside the EU, there were almost 3 out of 10.
Conversely, the proportion of lowly educated persons born outside the EU is clearly higher than among persons born in Belgium or in another EU country.
More tertiary-educated persons in Flanders than on average in European Union
In 2018, the share of tertiary-educated persons in the Flemish Region (41%) was between that of the Brussels-Capital Region (48%) and the Walloon Region (37%).
In the countries of the European Union (EU), on average 3 out of 10 inhabitants were tertiary-educated. In the Flemish Region, this share is higher. There are considerable differences in this respect among the EU countries. In Ireland, around 47% of the population attained tertiary education; in Romania and Italy the share is below 20%.