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Table B.4.05. Trends in the percentage of employed 25-64 year-olds, by country and educational attainment: 1997-2008

Country Educational attainment 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
OECD average Below upper secondary 57.2 57.4 57.7 57.8 58.0 57.4 57.4 56.9 57.5 58.2 58.7 58.7
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 74.3 74.6 75.0 75.4 75.4 75.0 74.8 74.6 74.7 75.4 76.1 76.1
  Tertiary education 84.2 84.4 84.5 84.7 84.7 84.4 83.9 83.7 84.6 84.9 84.4 84.5
                           
OECD countries                          
Australia Below upper secondary 59.5 59.5 59.1 60.8 59.9 60.0 61.0 60.6 62.9 63.5 63.9 61.5
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 76.1 75.9 76.2 76.7 78.0 77.8 78.7 78.8 79.8 80.4 80.5 80.9
  Tertiary education 83.4 83.8 82.0 82.9 83.1 83.5 83.2 83.3 84.4 84.4 84.8 83.1
Austria Below upper secondary 52.8 52.6 53.3 53.7 53.5 54.4 55.0 52.2 53.3 55.7 57.9 57.0
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 75.6 75.0 75.6 74.8 74.8 75.3 75.6 73.9 74.3 75.8 76.9 78.1
  Tertiary education 86.0 85.8 86.2 87.5 86.6 86.0 85.0 82.5 84.5 85.9 86.8 86.4
Belgium Below upper secondary 47.5 47.5 49.1 50.5 49.0 48.8 48.9 48.8 49.0 49.0 49.8 49.4
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 73.4 72.0 74.5 75.1 73.9 73.8 72.8 73.1 74.0 73.2 74.2 74.7
  Tertiary education 83.9 84.3 85.4 85.3 84.5 83.7 83.6 83.9 84.2 83.6 84.9 84.7
Canada Below upper secondary 52.5 53.5 54.4 55.0 54.4 55.3 56.4 57.1 56.4 56.9 57.3 57.7
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 73.9 74.5 75.4 76.1 75.4 75.9 76.3 76.7 76.3 76.0 76.5 76.5
  Tertiary education 81.7 82.3 82.4 82.7 81.9 82.0 82.0 82.2 82.2 82.6 82.9 82.6
Chile Below upper secondary 59.4 58.9
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 69.3 70.1
  Tertiary education 77.9 79.5
                           
Czech Republic Below upper secondary 51.1 49.5 46.9 46.9 46.7 45.3 46.0 42.3 41.2 43.9 45.7 46.5
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 79.7 78.2 76.4 75.5 75.7 76.2 75.8 74.8 75.5 75.6 76.1 76.6
  Tertiary education 89.3 88.7 87.4 86.8 87.8 87.1 86.5 86.4 85.8 85.1 85.2 85.1
Denmark Below upper secondary 60.9 61.7 62.2 61.5 61.2 62.6 61.7 61.5 62.8 66.6 66.9
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 79.1 80.7 81.0 81.0 80.3 79.8 79.9 79.9 81.3 82.5 83.2
  Tertiary education 87.5 87.9 88.6 87.2 86.0 85.2 85.5 86.4 87.4 87.8 89.2
Finland Below upper secondary 54.7 56.2 58.6 57.3 58.2 57.7 57.9 57.1 57.9 58.4 58.6 59.3
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 72.2 73.1 74.3 74.9 75.5 74.4 74.4 74.4 75.2 75.6 76.2 77.3
  Tertiary education 82.6 83.2 84.7 84.4 85.1 85.1 85.0 84.2 84.1 85.0 85.2 85.6
France Below upper secondary 56.3 56.3 56.4 57.0 57.7 57.8 58.9 59.1 58.6 58.1 57.8 58.1
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 75.0 75.0 75.1 75.8 76.5 76.7 76.3 75.7 75.7 75.6 75.8 75.9
  Tertiary education 81.3 81.6 81.8 83.1 83.7 83.3 83.3 82.9 83.0 83.0 83.5 84.3
Germany Below upper secondary 45.7 46.1 48.7 50.6 51.8 50.9 50.2 48.6 51.6 53.8 54.6 55.3
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 68.2 67.9 69.9 70.4 70.5 70.3 69.7 69.5 70.6 72.5 74.4 75.3
  Tertiary education 82.3 82.2 83.0 83.4 83.4 83.6 83.0 82.7 82.9 84.3 85.5 85.8
                           
Greece Below upper secondary 57.4 57.1 57.0 57.5 57.2 58.3 59.7 57.9 59.1 59.5 59.9 60.3
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 63.3 64.8 64.6 64.6 65.0 65.3 66.8 68.1 68.7 69.7 69.4 69.8
  Tertiary education 80.2 80.5 80.7 80.9 80.3 81.2 81.5 81.4 81.8 83.1 82.6 82.6
Hungary Below upper secondary 36.2 36.2 35.8 35.8 36.6 36.7 37.4 36.9 38.1 38.2 38.5 38.7
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 70.7 70.9 72.1 72.1 71.9 71.7 71.4 70.9 70.4 70.4 70.2 68.7
  Tertiary education 81.4 81.0 82.1 82.4 82.6 82.0 82.7 82.9 83.0 81.8 80.4 79.9
Iceland Below upper secondary 83.8 85.6 87.2 87.3 87.2 86.4 83.7 81.6 83.0 83.6 84.1 83.1
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 88.0 88.6 90.5 89.0 89.7 89.4 88.7 87.8 88.2 88.6 88.6 86.3
  Tertiary education 94.6 94.7 95.1 95.0 94.7 95.4 92.7 92.0 92.0 92.0 92.2 91.0
Ireland Below upper secondary 50.3 53.4 54.4 60.7 58.4 56.7 56.6 57.5 58.4 58.7 58.7 56.8
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 68.7 71.7 74.8 77.0 77.3 76.6 75.6 75.9 76.7 77.3 77.1 75.5
  Tertiary education 81.9 85.2 87.2 87.2 87.0 86.3 86.1 86.2 86.8 86.5 86.7 85.2
Italy Below upper secondary 47.8 48.0 48.6 49.4 50.5 50.7 51.7 51.7 52.5 52.8 52.5
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 70.1 70.3 71.2 72.1 72.3 72.4 73.5 73.5 74.4 74.5 74.3
  Tertiary education 80.8 80.7 81.4 81.6 82.2 82.0 81.2 80.4 80.6 80.2 80.7
                           
Japan Below upper secondary 69.4 68.8 68.2 67.1 67.6
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 75.3 75.8 74.2 73.8 74.3 71.8 71.8 72.0 72.3 73.2 74.4 74.4
  Tertiary education 80.7 79.5 79.2 79.0 79.9 79.2 79.2 79.3 79.4 79.8 80.1 79.7
Korea Below upper secondary 71.2 66.1 66.9 68.0 67.8 68.4 66.5 66.4 65.9 66.2 66.0 66.1
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 71.7 66.5 66.4 68.7 69.3 70.5 69.6 70.1 70.1 70.3 70.7 70.7
  Tertiary education 80.2 76.1 74.6 75.4 75.7 76.1 76.4 76.7 76.8 77.2 77.2 77.1
Luxembourg Below upper secondary 56.5 58.3 60.0 59.3 60.3 59.1 61.8 60.8 62.3 61.1
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 73.9 74.6 74.8 73.6 73.3 72.6 71.7 73.4 73.9 70.7
  Tertiary education 85.0 84.3 85.5 85.2 82.3 84.1 84.0 85.2 84.5 84.7
Mexico Below upper secondary 61.8 61.3 61.4 60.7 60.5 61.3 60.9 62.2 65.4 67.0 63.0 63.6
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 70.1 69.1 69.1 70.7 69.8 69.7 69.5 70.3 59.2 61.1 73.5 72.9
  Tertiary education 83.2 83.2 82.0 82.5 80.9 80.9 81.2 81.4 96.8 97.2 83.0 82.8
Netherlands Below upper secondary 55.3 60.7 57.6 58.8 60.7 59.4 59.4 59.5 60.6 61.9 63.7
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 76.8 79.5 79.4 80.0 79.8 78.8 77.9 77.9 79.1 80.3 81.5
  Tertiary education 85.4 87.2 86.3 86.3 86.5 85.9 85.3 85.6 86.4 87.7 88.3
                           
New Zealand Below upper secondary 63.1 62.4 63.6 64.8 65.9 67.0 67.4 68.9 70.0 70.4 71.0 70.5
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 80.3 79.1 79.7 80.0 80.1 81.2 81.4 82.7 84.2 84.2 84.6 83.3
  Tertiary education 82.3 81.5 81.9 82.2 83.7 83.0 82.7 83.3 84.1 84.5 83.7 84.5
Norway Below upper secondary 66.7 67.7 67.1 65.3 63.3 64.2 64.1 62.1 64.3 64.7 66.3 66.0
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 83.3 83.9 82.9 82.7 82.7 81.5 79.6 78.8 82.4 83.1 84.0 84.4
  Tertiary education 90.2 90.2 90.2 89.9 89.6 89.5 88.8 89.3 88.8 89.2 90.4 90.6
Poland Below upper secondary 50.3 49.1 46.6 42.8 41.5 39.1 38.2 37.5 37.7 38.6 41.0 43.0
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 70.7 71.1 69.7 66.6 64.8 62.5 61.6 61.3 61.7 62.9 65.2 67.0
  Tertiary education 86.7 87.2 86.6 84.5 84.1 83.1 82.6 82.3 82.7 83.5 84.5 85.1
Portugal Below upper secondary 71.6 71.8 72.8 73.1 73.0 72.4 71.9 71.5 71.7 71.6 71.7
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 80.1 81.9 83.3 82.7 82.2 81.5 80.3 79.3 80.2 79.8 80.6
  Tertiary education 89.4 90.0 90.6 90.8 88.6 87.5 88.0 87.3 86.4 85.9 86.7
Slovak Republic Below upper secondary 38.9 37.4 33.2 30.9 30.5 28.2 28.5 26.6 26.3 28.9 29.1 32.3
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 75.9 75.1 72.5 70.6 70.2 70.5 71.2 70.3 70.8 71.9 73.2 74.8
  Tertiary education 89.8 88.6 87.0 85.6 86.7 86.6 87.1 83.6 84.0 84.9 84.2 85.5
                           
Spain Below upper secondary 48.2 49.5 51.0 53.8 55.1 55.7 56.6 57.6 58.6 59.8 60.5 59.1
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 66.6 67.5 69.6 72.1 71.8 71.6 72.4 73.2 74.7 75.9 76.3 75.2
  Tertiary education 75.5 76.3 77.6 79.7 80.7 80.8 81.6 81.9 82.4 83.4 84.4 83.6
Sweden Below upper secondary 67.2 66.4 66.5 68.0 68.8 68.2 67.5 67.0 66.1 66.9 66.6 66.2
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 78.6 79.3 79.6 81.7 81.9 81.8 81.3 80.7 81.3 81.9 83.1 83.3
  Tertiary education 85.0 85.5 85.6 86.7 86.9 86.5 85.8 85.4 87.3 87.3 88.6 89.2
Switzerland Below upper secondary 68.0 68.8 68.3 64.5 69.6 68.2 66.3 65.4 65.3 64.5 66.0 67.6
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 79.6 80.8 80.9 81.4 81.3 81.1 80.5 79.9 80.0 80.2 81.1 82.0
  Tertiary education 89.1 90.3 90.7 90.4 91.3 90.6 89.7 89.7 90.0 90.2 90.0 90.5
Turkey Below upper secondary 56.9 57.4 55.8 53.1 51.9 50.5 49.1 50.1 49.1 49.0 46.9 46.7
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 66.8 66.0 63.9 64.0 62.4 61.8 61.1 61.5 63.2 62.7 61.0 60.8
  Tertiary education 81.7 81.3 79.0 78.5 78.3 76.3 74.9 75.2 76.1 75.5 74.6 74.6
United Kingdom Below upper secondary 64.7 64.5 65.0 65.3 65.5 65.3 66.0 65.4 65.5 65.2 64.9 65.6
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 79.2 80.1 80.5 81.1 80.9 81.1 81.5 81.2 81.6 81.3 80.9 82.1
  Tertiary education 87.2 87.1 87.7 87.8 88.1 87.6 87.8 87.7 88.0 88.1 87.8 87.8
                           
United States Below upper secondary 55.2 57.6 57.8 57.8 58.4 57.0 57.8 56.5 57.2 58.0 58.3 56.2
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 75.7 75.8 76.2 76.7 76.2 74.0 73.3 72.8 72.8 73.3 73.6 72.8
  Tertiary education 85.4 85.3 84.6 85.0 84.4 83.2 82.2 82.0 82.5 82.7 83.3 83.1
                           
Non-OECD countries                          
Brazil Below upper secondary 68.8 69.4
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 76.9 77.7
  Tertiary education 85.8 86.0
Estonia Below upper secondary 44.1 49.0 50.9 50.0 56.5 56.7 58.3
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 71.9 72.9 72.6 73.6 78.1 79.4 79.7
  Tertiary education 81.6 80.3 82.4 84.5 87.7 87.4 85.8
Israel Below upper secondary 43.5 42.7 40.4 41.2 41.8 42.7 44.8
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 66.6 65.9 66.4 66.6 67.5 69.2 70.0
  Tertiary education 79.1 79.3 79.2 80.3 81.2 83.0 82.8
Slovenia Below upper secondary 55.6 54.2 55.9 56.1 55.9 56.2 55.0
  Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary 74.0 72.7 74.4 74.6 74.1 75.1 76.4
  Tertiary education 86.1 86.1 86.8 87.0 88.2 87.7 87.9
— Not available.
NOTE: Education levels are defined according to the 1997 International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED97). "Below upper secondary" refers to ISCED97 levels 0 (pre-primary education), 1 (primary education), and 2 (lower secondary education). "Upper secondary education" refers to ISCED97 levels 3 (upper secondary education, i.e. secondary education after compulsary schooling ends) and 4 (postsecondary nontertiary programs, i.e. pre-degree foundation courses or short vocational programmes). "Tertiary education" refers to the ISCED97 levels 5A (academic higher education below the doctoral level), 5B (vocational higher education), and 6 (doctoral level of academic higher education).
SOURCE: Data from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2010). Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2010, table A6.3a. Paris: Author.
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education