Higher education continues to rise

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During the period 2013-2017, the proportion of people with a higher education increased the most in Oslo and Troms. In both counties, the proportion of people aged 16 years and older with a higher education was 3.2 percentage points higher in 2017 compared with 2013.

In 2017, about half of the population in Oslo aged 16 years and older had a higher education, and 32 per cent in the county of Troms. In both counties, the proportion with a higher education increased by 3.2 percentage points since 2013, according to updated figures from educational attainment of the population.

Four counties were above the national average (33.4 per cent) for the population aged 16 years and over with a higher education. About half of the population in Oslo had attained a higher education (50.7), followed by Akershus (38.1), Sør-Trøndelag (35.7) and Hordaland (34.3).

Just below the national average were Troms and Rogaland with 32 per cent.

Figure 1. Educational attainment of the population, 1 October 2017

ØSTFOLD 26.1
AKERSHUS 38.1
OSLO 50.7
HEDMARK 25.8
OPPLAND 25.9
BUSKERUD 29.9
VESTFOLD 30.1
TELEMARK 26.6
AUST-AGDER 28.9
VEST-AGDER 29.8
ROGALAND 32.2
HORDALAND 34.3
SOGN OG FJORDANE 27.7
MØRE OG ROMSDAL 27.8
SØR-TRØNDELAG 35.7
NORD-TRØNDELAG 26.6
NORDLAND 26.2
TROMS - ROMSA 32.2
FINNMARK - FINNMÁRKU 27.4
Figure 1. Educational attainment of the population, 1 October 2017
ØSTFOLD 26.1
AKERSHUS 38.1
OSLO 50.7
HEDMARK 25.8
OPPLAND 25.9
BUSKERUD 29.9
VESTFOLD 30.1
TELEMARK 26.6
AUST-AGDER 28.9
VEST-AGDER 29.8
ROGALAND 32.2
HORDALAND 34.3
SOGN OG FJORDANE 27.7
MØRE OG ROMSDAL 27.8
SØR-TRØNDELAG 35.7
NORD-TRØNDELAG 26.6
NORDLAND 26.2
TROMS - ROMSA 32.2
FINNMARK - FINNMÁRKU 27.4

Higher level of education among women and immigrants

Many women aged 16 years and older have attained a higher education. Thirty-seven per cent had completed an education at this level in 2017, and 35 per cent had attained an upper secondary education. For men aged 16 years and older, the situation was the opposite. Forty per cent of men had attained an upper secondary education and 30 per cent had a higher education.

Immigrants as a population have also attained a higher level of education than the total population. A major reason for this is that the immigrant population is younger. The labour immigration in the last decade has pushed up the proportion of immigrants with a long higher education – particularly in the period 2006-2015. The proportion of immigrants with a short higher education has been almost unchanged for the last 20 years.

Among norwegian-born to immigrant parents and among the rest of the population, there has been a steady increase in the proportion of the population aged 16 years and older who have attained both short and long higher education.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents as a population is a younger group of people. Almost 80 per cent of this population is in the age group 0-19, and most have therefore not completed their higher education yet.

Figure 2. Proportion of the population aged 16 years and older with higher education (4 years or less), by immigration category

1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total 16.8 17.2 17.9 18.9 19.8 20.5 21.3 22.1 22.7 23.0 23.4 23.7
Immigrants 23.2 22.8 22.5 22.6 22.7 23.1 23.4 24.1 23.0 22.7 22.8 22.9
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents 13.0 11.5 11.7 12.2 13.1 13.1 13.8 15.2 17.0 17.6 18.3 19.1
Other population 16.5 16.9 17.7 18.7 19.7 20.3 21.1 21.9 22.7 23.1 23.6 24.0

Figure 3. Proportion of the population aged 16 years and older with higher education (more than 4 years), by immigration category

1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017
In total 4.4 4.8 5.1 5.5 5.9 6.5 7.1 7.7 8.7 9.2 9.5 9.7
Immigrants 9.3 9.6 9.7 10.0 10.6 11.9 12.8 14.2 15.6 16.6 16.6 16.4
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents 3.0 3.0 3.1 3.5 4.1 4.8 5.3 5.8 6.6 7.2 7.7 8.1
Other population 4.2 4.5 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.1 6.5 7.0 7.5 7.9 8.2 8.5