Almost as many higher as lower educated Dutch

15/04/2008 15:00

Between 2001 and 2007, the proportion of higher educated people in the Netherlands has grown across all age categories. Last year, there were about as many higher as lower educated individuals in the Netherlands for the first time. In the population with a foreign background, the most substantial increase in higher educated was recorded among Turks and Moroccans.

Proportions of higher and lower educated almost equal

In recent years, lower educated always outnumbered higher educated. In 2007, there were as many higher as lower educated persons in the Netherlands for the first time. Last year, 29 percent of Dutch no longer attending education or training programmes had only lower education, whereas 28 percent were higher educated.

Those who were educated at secondary level remained the largest group. In 2007, more than four in ten individuals were educated at secondary level.

Education level in the Dutch population

Education level in the Dutch population

Only marginal increase in proportion of higher educated 15 to 24-year-olds

Since 2001, the amount of higher educated has increased across nearly all age categories, but the increase was only marginal among 15 to 24-year-olds. The increase in higher educated was distinctly lower in this age category than in other age categories, but the picture is distorted, as many people aged between 15 and 24 are still studying or attending other forms of schooling or training and are therefore not included in the survey. The majority of these young people will eventually be higher educated.

The amount of higher educated 25 to 34-year-olds has risen most. This age category includes the largest proportion of higher educated: in 2007 over one third of Dutch in this age group were educated at higher vocational or university level.

Proportion of higher educated by age category

Proportion of higher educated by age category

Sharp increase in higher educated Turks and Moroccans

There are obvious differences between the various ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of higher educated Turks and Moroccans rose sharply from 5.5 percent in 2001 to 9 percent in 2007.

The increase in higher educated Antilleans, Arubans and Surinamese was less spectacular, but the proportion of higher educated in this group was already high relative to Turks and Moroccans. In both groups, however, the proportion of higher educated is still far below that for the native Dutch population.

Proportion of higher educated by ethnic background

Proportion of higher educated by ethnic background

Boukje Janssen