Higher education graduates (i25)

  •  17/10/2022
  • objective 
  •  assessment 

In 2021, 49.9% of the population aged 30 to 34 in Belgium, had a tertiary education degree. To achieve the sustainable development goal, this figure must be at least 47% in 2020. This objective has been reached.

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Higher education graduates - Belgium - trend assessment

percentage of population aged 30-34

 20002005201020152020202120252030
observations35.239.144.442.747.849.9----
trend and extrapolation (November 2021)35.139.442.744.947.848.350.151.5
objective 203047.047.047.047.047.047.047.047.0

break in series: 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Tertiary educational attainment by sex, age group 30-34 edat_lfse_03], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022); calculations FPB

Higher education graduates - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of population aged 30-34

 199220002002201020152016202020212021//19922021//20162021//2002
Belgium26.635.235.244.442.745.647.849.92.21.81.9
EU27----22.532.637.337.841.141.6--1.93.3
//: Average Growth Rates

break in time series: BE in 1999, 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021; EU in 2014, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Tertiary educational attainment by sex, age group 30-34 edat_lfse_03], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Higher education graduates by region - Belgium

percentage of population aged 30-34

 20002005201020152016202020212021//20002021//2016
Brussels-Capital Region43.949.648.748.451.958.258.41.42.4
Flemish Region36.439.945.043.247.349.352.41.82.1
Walloon Region29.933.741.539.139.640.641.71.61.0
//: Average Growth Rates

The margin of uncertainty for this indicator is indicated in the text for the latest year. Break in time series: 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), edat_lfse_38, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Higher education graduates by sex - Belgium

percentage of population aged 30-34

 19922000201020152016202020212021//19922021//2016
females27.937.150.048.750.755.556.42.52.2
males25.233.339.036.740.440.243.31.91.4
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2008, 2014, 2017, 2021

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Tertiary educational attainment by sex, age group 30-34 edat_lfse_03], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/06/2022).

Definition: share of the population aged 30-34 with a tertiary education degree. This education level corresponds to the levels 5-8 of the 2011 ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) for data from 2014 onwards and to the levels 5-6 of the 1997 ISCED for data up to 2013. The data come from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Statistics Belgium organises this EU-harmonised survey in Belgium and makes the results available, in particular to Eurostat. The survey methodology was reviewed in 2017. Comparison of the 2017 data with previous years should be done with caution. The data used here come from Eurostat, which publishes detailed and comparable results between EU Member States. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. This margin of uncertainty increases as the indicator is calculated on smaller sub-populations. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request from Statistics Belgium.

Goal: 47% of people aged 30-34 have completed tertiary education.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 4.3: “By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.”

The 2011 National Reform Programme adopted by Belgium in April 2011 (Federal Government, 2011) in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy (European Commission, 2010) includes an education and training target: at least 47% of the population aged 30 to 34 should have completed tertiary education.

International comparison: Belgium has more tertiary education graduates (49.9%) than the average of EU27 Member States (41.6%) in the age group considered, but this difference decreases from 12.7 percentage points in 2002 to 8.3 percentage points in 2021. The number of people with tertiary education is thus increasing faster in the EU27. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the best performance in 2021. In that year, Luxemburg ranked first with 62.5% and Romania last with 24.8%.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 4.3., since the share of tertiary education graduates illustrates the access to affordable and quality education.

Sources

More information is available in French and Dutch.