Press Release 29/09/2016


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One out of four people in the Basque Country had a university education in 2015

Of those who hold a Vocational Qualification, 16.3%, two out of every three had a higher level qualification

Nearly one in four people over the age of ten, 24.5%, had undertaken intermediate-higher or higher university studies in 2015, a total of 481,000 people, according to Eustat data. In the last 29 years the increase has been 13.5 percentage points, compared to 1986.

332,700 people had a higher university level of training, which accounted for 16.9% of the population over the age of 10. These figures represent an increase of 0.2 points and of 4,000 people compared to 2014. Compared to 1986, the percentage of the population with higher university studies is one of those that has grown most, specifically a little over 10 percentage points. In 2015 the proportion of university graduates rose to 17.3% for women, whereas it stayed at just 16.5% for men, widening the differences that existed in 2014.

Population aged 10 or over according to education level. Basque Country (%). 1986-2015
Source: Eustat. Municipal education statistics

Conversely, the illiteracy rate among the over 10s was 0.4% in 2015: 0.3% in the case of men and 0.5% in the case of women. This rate was particularly high among the elderly and, therefore, while the rate stood at 0.1% for the under 65s, it jumped to 1.0% for the over 65s, although it had dropped by 0.1 percent with respect to 2014.

The population with no education or with only pre-school or primary education also continued falling in 2015, reaching 2.3% and 33.8 % respectively of the total population over the age of 10. Compared to 1986, the drop is 10.5 and 18.2 points, respectively.

The differences in the level of education by province were small. Comparatively, a higher proportion of individuals were educated to secondary school level in Álava, 22.8%, compared to 21.6% for the Basque Country as a whole. Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa show an almost equivalent percentage, 21.4 and 21.5%, respectively. Bizkaia is the territory that stands out in university studies, topping the average by 0.8 tenths, reaching 25.3%. Gipuzkoa registered 23.7% and Álava 23.0%. Finally Gipuzkoa, with 18.4%, was up 1.0 percentage point on the Basque Country as a whole in terms of the proportion of people that had undertaken vocational training qualifications. Álava recorded 17.5% and Bizkaia 16.7%.

The distribution of the level of education by region presented bigger differences. Regions whose university level of education stood out included Plentzia-Mungia, 33.6%, Donostia-San Sebastián, 26.8%, and Estribaciones del Gorbea, 26.4%. The following regions stood out in terms of their level of vocational training qualifications: Valles Alaveses, 22.0%; Encartaciones, 21.1%, and Alto Deba, 20.9%. And the most prominent regions in terms of secondary education level were Bajo Bidasoa, 23.9%, Llanada Alavesa, 23.5%, and Plentzia-Mungia, 23.3%.

Population aged 10 and above with a university level of education by region. Basque Country (%). 2015


Source: Eustat. Municipal Education Statistics

There was a rise in the proportion of people with qualifications in secondary education, vocational and university studies compared to 2014

Based on the level of qualifications, 19.9% of the population over 10 years of age held a secondary education qualification in 2015. This proportion rose to 20.6% in the case of men and fell to 19.2% in the case of women. Compared to 2014, the number of people qualified at this level of education increased by 0.3 percentage points.

In the case of university qualifications, 19.3% of the population over 10 years of age held an intermediate-higher or higher qualification. This proportion rose to 21.1% in the case of women, whilst it stayed at 17.3% in the case of men. Compared to 2014, the number of intermediate-higher and higher qualifications increased by 0.4 percentage points.

The population holding vocational training qualifications also grew from 16.1% in 2014 to 16.3% in 2015. More men held qualifications, 19.3%, than women, 13.4%. The detail of vocational training qualifications shows that two in three qualifications issued corresponded to higher level (66.1%), i.e. qualifications obtained after completing any of the higher-level training cycles.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62 Further press releases on Municipal education statistics of the Basque Country

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One out of four people in the Basque Country had a university education in 2015

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