Number of highly educated over-55s on the increase

01/08/2006 14:00

The number of highly educated people in the 55-65 age bracket is increasing more rapidly than the number of highly educated young people. This is due to the ageing of the population. In 2005, the employment rate among highly educated people in the age group 55-65 was 56 percent, as against 40 percent of the entire population in this age group.

Increasing number of people are highly educated

In 2005, there were 2.7 million highly educated in the age group 15- 65, as against only 2.1 million in 1996. Last year, approximately 80 percent of highly educated people were aged between 25 and 55 and some 16 percent were in the age category 55-65. In 1996, only 11 percent of 55 to 65-year-olds were highly educated.

Highly educated

Highly educated

Highly educated people more often older

The enrolment rate of young people in institutions of higher education is now relatively higher than it used to be. The number of highly educated 25 to 35-year-olds increased by 15 percent between 1996 and 2005, whereas the population in that age category decreased by 18 percent. Yet, the number of highly educated people older than 55 increased much faster between 1995 and 2005 than their counterparts in the age group 25-35. This means that an increasing part of all knowledge available in the Netherlands is stored away in the brains of older people.

Net labour participation

Net labour participation

Better use of knowledge

In 2005, more highly educated people were employed than a decade ago. Highly educated people were also more often employed than lowly educated people. About 63 percent of the entire potential labour force were employed, but the employment rate among highly educated was 81 percent. The employment rate among highly educated 55 to 65-year-olds was also high; 56 percent of them were working, as opposed to only 40 percent of the entire population in this age group.

Martje Roessingh