There is a clear gender difference among those with tertiary education: a larger share of women aged 25-34 had completed tertiary education than men (47 % women, 36 % men). While the share of men with tertiary education has been on the increase over the last ten years, the rate of growth has been somewhat slower than for women. As a result, the gender gap has become slightly broader over time.
The EU Member States have set themselves a target of increasing the share of the EU population aged 25-34 who have completed tertiary education to 45 % by 2030.
Almost half of the EU Member States have already met the 2030 EU-level target for this indicator: Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal and Latvia. In contrast, the lowest shares were recorded in Romania (23 %), Italy (28 %) and Hungary (33 %).
Looking at the differences between age groups with regards to educational attainment in 2021, there is a clear age difference: 37 % of the EU population aged 25–54 had a tertiary level education compared with 22 % of those aged 55–74.
For more information:
- Statistics Explained article on educational attainment statistics
- Dedicated section to education and training statistics
- Database on education and training statistics