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04 Jul 2022

Ireland has a higher rate of third-level education in comparison to EU-27 average - CSO figures reveal

More than half of 25-64-year olds in 2021 have a third-level education - CSO figures reveal

More than half of 25-64-year olds in 2021 have a third-level education - CSO figures reveal

Ireland has a higher rate of third-level education in comparison to the EU-27 average, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The highest rate was for 25-34-year-olds (58% holding a tertiary level qualification) in comparison to the EU-27 average of 41%. 

More than half (53%) of 25-64-year olds in Ireland have a third-level qualification.

The statistics show that younger age groups reported the highest levels of third-level attainment with 61% of 25-34-year olds having a third-level qualification.

Employment rates for people aged 25-64 years old increased as the level of education attained increased.

64% of early school leavers aged 18-24 were not economically active in Q2 2021 compared to 35% of other persons aged 18-24.

In Q2 2021, the figures showed that females aged 25-64-years old with a third level qualification were more than three times as likely to be employed (81%) compared to females with primary education or no formal education (24%).

Around 4% of people aged between 25-64 had only a primary school education or no formal education.

The CSO said educational attainment levels are linked with higher employment rates and this is most notable for persons aged 25-64 years with a third level qualification.

Statistics show this cohort has an employment rate of 85%, compared to persons aged 25-64 years with no formal education/primary education having an employment rate of just 32% in Q2 2021.

Those with no formal education/primary education had an unemployment rate of 11%, compared to those holding a third-level qualification with an unemployment rate of 4%. 

Irish nationals had a lower educational attainment profile than non-Irish nationals.

In Q2 2021, 51% of Irish nationals aged 25-64 years old had a third-level qualification. Non-Irish nationals in comparison had a third-level qualification rate of 61%.

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