Latvia ranks above EU average on tertiary educational attainment

Latvia is among the countries that meet an important EU target on providing tertiary education, according to data published by Eurostat May 24. Tertiary education means education for people above school age, typically including college, university, and vocational courses. 

In 2021, 41% of the EU’s population aged 25-34 years had completed tertiary education

The EU Member States have set themselves a target of increasing the share of the EU population aged 25-34 who have completed tertiary education to 45% by 2030. Latvia already met that target in 2021, with 46% of the population having completed tertiary education of one sort or another.

Almost half of the EU Member States have already met the 2030 EU-level target for this indicator: Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal and Latvia. In contrast, the lowest shares were recorded in Romania (23%), Italy (28%) and Hungary (33%).

Looking at the differences between age groups with regards to educational attainment in 2021, there is a clear age difference: 37% of the EU population aged 25–54 had a tertiary level education compared with 22% of those aged 55–74.

There is a clear gender difference among those with tertiary education: a larger share of women aged 25-34 had completed tertiary education than men (47% women, 36% men). While the share of men with tertiary education has been on the increase over the last ten years, the rate of growth has been somewhat slower than for women. As a result, the gender gap has become slightly broader over time.

In wider educational statistics Lithuania, Czechia, Slovakia, Latvia and Poland had the lowest shares of people with a low level of education (all less than 10 %), while Spain, Italy, Malta and Portugal had the highest (all above 40 %). 

Tertiary education in EU, 2021
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