More highly educated young women than men


More women than men in the age category 30-39 are educated at higher vocational or university level. During the past decade, the proportion of highly educated young women has also risen more rapidly than among young men. As a result,  the gap between highly educated women and men in the age category 30-39 is widening. Although the number of weekly working hours of women has grown in recent years, the number of young male full-timers is still higher according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Women aged between 30 and 40 have highest education level

Younger generations are better educated than older generations. Women in the age category 30-39 in particular often have a high education level nearly half of women in their early thirties are graduated at higher vocational or university level. This share is significantly lower among women belonging to older generations. They are often educated at secondary level.  It is difficult to compare 30-39-year-olds with under-30s because many people in the age latter group are still attending some form of education.

Share men and women educated at secondary level and higher by age, 2015

More highly than secondary educated 30 to 39-year-olds

The education level in the Dutch population has been rising for many years. Currently, the proportion of highly educated among people in their thirties is even higher than the proportion of people educated at secondary level; 44 and 39 percent respectively, versus 31 and 46 percent in 2005. The reverse situation applies among over-40s where people secondary-level educated constitute a majority over highly educated.

Education level 30 to 39-year-olds

Female highly educated outnumber their male counterparts

Since 2009, there have been more highly educated women than men in the age category 30-39 and the share of highly educated is also increasing faster among women. Consequently, the education gap between young men and women is widening. This development is also reflected in the youngest group of graduates where highly educated women are in the majority.

Highly educated 30 to 39-year-olds

Women in their thirties are often highly educated, but majority are employed on a part-time basis

Over the past decade, the number of weekly working hours has increased among lower as well as highly educated women. On average, highly educated women work longer hours than their lower educated counterparts. Nine in ten 30 to 40-year-old highly educated women were employed in 2015, as against 95 percent of highly educated men in the same age category. Fewer women than men aged between 30 and 40 are employed on a full-time basis; 37 percent of highly educated women were working full-time (i.e. 35 hours a week or more) in 2015, versus 87 percent men.