Indicators on education in the OECD, academic year 2005/2006

Norway rates tenth in educational attainment


Eight out of ten in Norway aged 25 to 64 years had at least completed an upper secondary education in 2006 – ten OECD countries were rated higher. Six OECD countries had higher proportions of people with tertiary education than Norway.

The OECD publication Education at a Glance 2008 , which is published today, shows that several OECD member countries have a higher educational attainment than Norway. In Norway, 79 per cent of the population aged 25 to 64 years had at least upper secondary education. All Nordic countries but Iceland had higher proportions of people with at least upper secondary education.

More information

Norway reclassified the educational attainment categories in 2006, to better meet the international standards as well as national interests. The changes are described in the article “ New classification of educational attainment ”. Figures on educational attainment in Norway in previous editions of Education at a Glance are not consistent and directly comparable with the 2008-edition. National figures on the population’s educational attainment in Norway are based on people aged 16 years and above, and will differ from the indicators on educational attainment in the OECD publication.

One-third of those aged 25 to 64 years in Norway had a tertiary education in 2006. Six OECD countries had higher proportions. Canada and Japan had the largest proportions with a tertiary education, 47 and 40 per cent respectively.

Graph 1. Percentage of the population aged 25-64 that has attained at least upper secondary ...

Females are closing the gap in earning doctorates

For all OECD countries but three, the female proportion of those awarded advanced research degrees has increased since 2000. Average female proportion for all OECD countries was 39 per cent in 2000. In 2006, more than 43 per cent of awarded doctorates were women. Portugal and Iceland have the largest female proportions among awarded doctorates, 60 and 53 per cent respectively.

The female proportion has increased by 7 percentage points from 2000 till 2006, from 33 per cent to 40 percent. All Nordic countries have higher proportions of females awarded advanced research degrees in 2006 than in previous years. According to statistics from NIFU STEP on doctorate degrees in Norway , the female proportion on earned doctorate degrees will increase in 2007.

Graph 2. Percentage of advanced research degrees awarded to females in Nordic countries ......

3 out of 10 aged 20 to 29 years in education

30 per cent of people aged 20 to 29 years in Norway were enrolled in education in 2006. The country mean in OECD countries was 25 per cent for this age group. All other Nordic countries, and also Australia, Greece and Poland, had higher proportions in education among 20 to 29 year olds.

In the age group from 5 to 14 years the enrolment rates are close to 100 per cent for all OECD countries, with the exception of Turkey. For 15 to 19 year olds the enrolment patterns vary across OECD. In Belgium, Greece and Poland more than 90 per cent were enrolled. In Norway and 18 other OECD countries more than 80 per cent of all 15 to 19 year olds were enrolled in education. Less than 50 per cent were enrolled in Turkey and Mexico.

More indicators in Education at a Glance 2008

Education at a Glance 2008 includes a rich and updated collection of education indicators from the different education systems in 30 OECD member countries. The indicators look at who participates in education, what is spent on it and how education systems operate and at the results achieved.


Table 1 Distribution of the 25-to-64-year-old population, by highest level of education attained. 2006

Table 2 Population aged 15-19 and 20-29 in education. Per cent. 1995-2006