Statistics in Focus: Population and social conditions. Educational attainment levels in Europe in the 1990s - some key figures. 2001.7
Education levels are continuing to rise in all the countries of the European Union, and have been for some thirty years. According to the results of the European Union Labour Force Survey, over 71% of 25- to 29-year-olds have obtained an upper secondary education qualification compared to 48% of 50-to 64-year-olds. However, in the 18 to 24 age group, one young person in five has left education with only the level of compulsory full-time education; the proportion is over one in four in Spain and Italy, and near to one in two in Portugal. Moreover, the number of higher education graduates continues to increase. At present, they represent over 20% of 25- to 64-year-olds in the European Union. This proportion varies from around 10% in Italy, Austria and Portugal to almost 30% in Sweden and Finland. Explained in part by a desire to guard themselves against socio-economic conditions which until now have been less than favourable to the employment of young people, and especially young people with the lowest qualifications, higher education remains an attractive option for many in that the unemployment rate for low or unskilled workers is often double (or even triple) that for higher education graduates
Number of pages4p.
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