93.3 million pupils and students enrolled in the EU



In 2020, there were 93.3 million pupils and students enrolled in the EU across 6 education levels: pre-primary, primary, lower and upper secondary, post-secondary non-tertiary and tertiary.

This information comes from data on education enrolments published by Eurostat today.

Across the EU, there were 13.6 million children enrolled in pre-primary education. In primary education, typically starting at ages 5 to 7 years old and lasting around six years, there were 23.3 million pupils enrolled.

In 2020, 19.0 million students were enrolled in lower secondary education, with students typically entering when they are 10 to 13 years old, and typically finishing nine years after the start of primary education when they are 15 to 16 years old.


Meanwhile, 17.9 million students were enrolled in upper secondary education in 2020. Upper secondary education includes both general and vocational studies, and typically ends 12 to 13 years after students begin their primary education.

After secondary school, students can choose to pursue post-secondary non-tertiary education. In 2020, there were 1.4 million students enrolled at this level of education. Furthermore, there were 18.0 million students enrolled in tertiary education.

For more information:

Methodological notes: 

  • Data by levels of education are classified according to ISCED 2011. The figures presented refer to pupils and students enrolled in school/academic year 2019-2020 at pre-primary education (ISCED level 02), at primary level (ISCED level 1), at lower secondary level (ISCED level 2), at upper secondary level (ISCED level 3), at post-secondary non-tertiary level (ISCED level 4) and in tertiary education (ISCED levels 5 to 8).
  • Estonia: early childhood educational development (ISCED 01) and pre-primary education (ISCED 02) breakdown for Estonia are not available. Only the early childhood education total is available. As a result, the 2020 EU aggregate does not include Estonia’s data on pre-primary enrolment.
  • Denmark, Croatia, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Slovenia: post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED 4) not applicable.