Skip Navigation
Digest of Education Statistics: 2017
Digest of Education Statistics: 2017

NCES 2018-070
January 2018


Table 603.20. Percentage of the population 25 to 64 years old who attained any postsecondary degree, by age group and country: Selected years, 2000 through 2016
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Country 2000 2005 2010 2014 2015 20161
Total,
25 to 64
years old
25 to 34
years old
Total,
25 to 64
years old
25 to 34
years old
Total,
25 to 64
years old
25 to 34
years old
Total,
25 to 64
years old
25 to 34
years old
Total,
25 to 64
years old
25 to 34
years old
Total,
25 to 64
years old
25 to 34
years old
35 to 44
years old
45 to 54
years old
55 to 64
years old
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
OECD average2  21.6 25.9 26.5 32.3 30.5 (0.08) 37.6 (0.18) 34.2 (0.05) 41.5 (0.12) 34.5 (0.05) 41.8 (0.10) 35.7 (0.04) 43.1 (0.09) 40.5 (0.09) 32.1 (0.08) 26.5 (0.08)
Australia 27.5 31.4 31.7 38.1 37.6 (—) 44.4 (—) 41.9 (—) 48.1 (—) 42.9 (0.30) 48.5 (0.60) 43.7 (0.30) 49.3 (0.59) 48.8 (0.59) 40.0 (0.58) 35.0 (0.60)
Austria 24.6 30.6 27.7 (0.14) 33.9 (0.33) 29.9 (0.15) 38.4 (0.34) 30.6 (0.15) 38.6 (0.35) 31.4 (0.15) 39.7 (0.34) 35.1 (0.32) 28.0 (0.26) 22.9 (0.27)
Belgium 27.1 36.0 31.0 40.6 35.0 (—) 43.8 (—) 36.9 (0.20) 44.2 (0.44) 36.9 (0.21) 43.1 (0.45) 37.5 (0.21) 44.3 (0.46) 43.2 (0.43) 35.1 (0.39) 27.5 (0.37)
Canada 40.1 48.4 46.0 53.7 50.3 (—) 56.2 (—) 53.6 (—) 57.7 (—) 55.2 (—) 59.2 (—) 56.3 (0.20) 60.6 (0.38) 62.8 (0.35) 55.7 (0.34) 46.2 (0.34)
Chile (†) (†) (†) (†) 22.5 (0.11) 29.9 (0.24) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
                                                     
Czech Republic 11.0 11.2 13.1 14.2 16.8 (—) 22.6 (—) 21.5 (0.12) 29.9 (0.30) 22.2 (0.12) 31.0 (0.31) 23.0 (0.13) 32.6 (0.32) 23.6 (0.24) 19.6 (0.24) 15.5 (0.20)
Denmark 25.8 29.3 33.5 39.8 33.3 (—) 37.6 (—) 35.8 (—) 42.1 (—) 37.1 (0.21) 44.5 (0.49) 38.2 (0.22) 45.9 (0.51) 43.5 (0.47) 34.5 (0.41) 29.9 (0.39)
Estonia 28.7 28.7 33.0 32.9 35.4 (0.46) 38.0 (1.03) 37.5 (0.42) 40.4 (0.89) 38.0 (0.42) 40.5 (0.89) 38.8 (0.42) 41.0 (0.89) 40.1 (0.84) 37.5 (0.81) 36.1 (0.84)
Finland 32.6 38.7 34.6 37.5 38.1 (—) 39.2 (—) 41.8 (0.17) 40.3 (0.37) 42.7 (0.30) 40.5 (0.68) 43.6 (0.19) 41.1 (0.40) 51.4 (0.40) 45.6 (0.38) 37.0 (0.35)
France 21.6 31.4 25.4 39.8 29.0 (—) 42.9 (—) 33.5 (0.10) 44.7 (0.23) 34.1 (0.09) 44.7 (0.22) 34.6 (0.09) 44.0 (0.22) 43.5 (0.20) 29.3 (0.17) 22.1 (0.15)
                                                     
Germany 23.5 22.3 24.6 22.5 26.6 (—) 26.1 (—) 27.1 (0.07) 28.4 (0.16) 27.6 (0.07) 29.6 (0.16) 28.3 (0.07) 30.5 (0.16) 29.8 (0.16) 27.1 (0.13) 26.3 (0.14)
Greece 17.7 23.9 21.5 25.7 24.7 (0.11) 31.2 (0.24) 28.1 (0.13) 38.7 (0.31) 29.1 (0.13) 40.1 (0.32) 30.2 (0.13) 41.0 (0.32) 31.3 (0.26) 28.2 (0.23) 20.9 (0.21)
Hungary 14.0 14.7 17.1 19.6 20.1 (—) 26.0 (—) 23.4 (0.12) 32.1 (0.28) 24.2 (0.12) 32.1 (0.29) 23.7 (0.12) 30.4 (0.29) 26.6 (0.24) 20.6 (0.23) 17.2 (0.20)
Iceland 29.5 34.5 32.6 (0.50) 36.2 (0.99) 37.1 (0.52) 40.6 (1.06) 38.8 (0.53) 40.1 (1.08) 40.5 (0.55) 43.3 (1.16) 48.5 (1.14) 39.9 (1.06) 28.9 (1.00)
Ireland 21.6 29.8 29.1 40.7 37.6 (—) 48.3 (—) 41.0 (—) 50.8 (—) 42.8 (0.16) 52.0 (0.34) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
                                                     
Israel 43.0 42.9 45.6 (—) 44.2 (—) 48.5 (—) 46.0 (—) 48.8 (—) 45.9 (—) 49.9 (0.13) 47.4 (0.25) 54.8 (0.24) 49.0 (0.26) 47.6 (0.27)
Italy 9.4 10.4 12.2 16.1 14.8 (—) 20.7 (—) 16.9 (0.07) 24.2 (0.19) 17.5 (0.07) 25.1 (0.19) 17.7 (0.07) 25.6 (0.19) 20.5 (0.15) 14.0 (0.12) 12.4 (0.12)
Japan3 33.6 47.8 39.9 53.2 44.8 (—) 56.7 (—) 48.2 (—) 58.6 (—) 49.5 (—) 59.6 (—) 50.5 (0.19) 60.1 (0.40) 55.1 (0.37) 47.8 (0.42) 39.7 (0.45)
Korea, Republic of 23.9 36.9 31.6 51.0 39.7 (—) 65.0 (—) 44.6 (—) 67.7 (—) 45.5 (—) 69.0 (—) 46.9 (0.25) 70.0 (0.45) 59.8 (0.46) 37.8 (0.47) 19.7 (0.50)
Latvia 18.2 17.3 20.3 21.7 26.9 (0.32) 34.7 (0.74) 30.2 (0.31) 39.4 (0.74) 31.6 (0.32) 39.9 (0.76) 33.4 (0.32) 42.1 (0.76) 36.3 (0.69) 28.0 (0.58) 27.0 (0.57)
                                                     
Luxembourg 18.3 22.9 26.5 37.0 35.5 (—) 44.2 (—) 45.9 (0.57) 52.9 (1.36) 39.8 (0.37) 49.9 (0.82) 42.9 (0.47) 51.4 (1.07) 51.2 (0.96) 37.4 (0.87) 27.5 (0.80)
Mexico 14.6 17.5 12.7 14.9 14.7 (0.08) 17.7 (0.16) 16.0 (0.08) 20.3 (0.17) 16.3 (0.08) 20.8 (0.17) 16.8 (0.09) 21.8 (0.17) 16.3 (0.16) 14.2 (0.16) 12.6 (0.19)
Netherlands 23.4 26.6 30.1 35.4 32.4 (—) 40.8 (—) 34.4 (—) 44.3 (—) 35.3 (—) 45.1 (—) 36.0 (0.23) 45.2 (0.58) 40.9 (0.51) 31.9 (0.40) 27.4 (0.39)
New Zealand (†) (†) 35.6 (—) 40.4 (—) 34.0 (—) 39.1 (—) 36.3 (0.35) 43.4 (0.76) 40.6 (0.73) 32.2 (0.65) 28.2 (0.67)
Norway 32.7 40.9 37.3 (—) 47.3 (—) 41.8 (0.21) 49.0 (0.46) 42.7 (0.21) 48.1 (0.45) 43.0 (0.21) 48.6 (0.45) 48.7 (0.42) 40.4 (0.40) 33.0 (0.41)
                                                     
Poland 11.4 14.2 16.9 25.5 22.5 (—) 37.1 (—) 27.0 (—) 42.6 (—) 27.7 (—) 43.2 (—) 28.7 (0.11) 43.5 (0.25) 35.3 (0.23) 20.4 (0.20) 13.9 (0.15)
Portugal 8.8 12.9 12.8 19.1 15.4 (—) 24.8 (—) 21.7 (0.14) 31.4 (0.37) 22.9 (0.14) 33.1 (0.39) 23.8 (0.15) 35.0 (0.41) 30.5 (0.30) 18.0 (0.24) 13.1 (0.22)
Slovak Republic 10.4 11.2 14.0 16.3 17.3 (—) 24.0 (—) 20.4 (0.35) 29.8 (0.86) 21.1 (0.36) 31.3 (0.88) 22.0 (0.37) 33.4 (0.91) 23.0 (0.75) 15.7 (0.66) 13.9 (0.55)
Slovenia 15.7 19.3 20.2 24.7 23.7 (—) 31.3 (—) 28.6 (—) 38.1 (—) 30.2 (0.25) 40.8 (0.57) 30.7 (0.25) 43.0 (0.57) 36.7 (0.54) 25.3 (0.44) 19.1 (0.40)
Spain 22.7 34.0 28.5 40.7 31.0 (0.08) 40.3 (0.17) 34.7 (0.08) 41.5 (0.19) 35.1 (0.08) 41.0 (0.19) 35.7 (0.08) 41.0 (0.20) 44.1 (0.16) 32.6 (0.15) 23.2 (0.14)
                                                     
Sweden 30.1 33.6 29.6 37.3 33.9 (0.11) 42.2 (0.23) 38.7 (0.12) 46.0 (0.25) 39.8 (0.12) 46.4 (0.26) 41.1 (0.13) 47.2 (0.26) 49.3 (0.26) 36.2 (0.24) 30.8 (0.23)
Switzerland 24.2 25.6 28.8 31.0 33.9 (0.16) 37.4 (0.39) 38.4 (0.17) 44.2 (0.41) 39.8 (0.17) 46.5 (0.41) 41.2 (0.17) 48.8 (0.42) 46.1 (0.34) 37.9 (0.31) 31.6 (0.33)
Turkey 8.3 8.9 10.2 12.5 13.1 (—) 17.4 (—) 16.7 (—) 24.8 (—) 18.0 (—) 27.5 (—) 19.4 (0.08) 30.5 (0.20) 18.5 (0.16) 11.0 (0.13) 10.2 (0.14)
United Kingdom 25.7 28.9 29.7 35.3 38.2 (—) 46.0 (—) 42.2 (0.22) 49.2 (0.46) 44.2 (0.23) 49.9 (0.48) 46.0 (0.23) 52.0 (0.48) 51.6 (0.46) 42.0 (0.43) 37.6 (0.45)
United States4 36.5 38.1 39.1 39.4 41.7 (0.24) 42.3 (0.38) 44.2 (0.28) 45.7 (0.53) 44.6 (0.25) 46.5 (0.39) 45.7 (0.27) 47.5 (0.45) 48.3 (0.46) 44.9 (0.45) 41.9 (0.51)
                                                     
Other reporting
      countries
                                                   
Argentina 17.5 16.8 (†) (†) 20.5 (—) 18.8 (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Brazil (†) (†) 14.3 (0.08) 16.3 (0.15) 14.8 (0.08) 16.6 (0.16) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
China 9.7 (—) 17.9 (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Colombia (†) (†) 22.4 (0.07) 27.7 (0.13) 21.6 (0.07) 27.4 (0.13) 22.2 (0.07) 28.1 (0.13) 24.0 (0.14) 17.8 (0.13) 14.8 (0.13)
Costa Rica 16.4 17.5 20.8 24.1 21.0 (0.37) 26.1 (0.70) 23.5 (0.37) 28.7 (0.71) 23.1 (0.37) 28.3 (0.70) 23.0 (0.37) 28.9 (0.72) 20.7 (0.71) 19.2 (0.70) 21.3 (0.86)
Indonesia 7.0 (—) 8.6 (—) (†) (†) 9.8 (—) 12.6 (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Lithuania 41.8 39.7 26.5 36.9 32.4 (0.27) 46.3 (0.68) 36.7 (—) 52.6 (—) 38.7 (0.27) 54.8 (0.71) 39.7 (0.27) 54.9 (0.70) 44.6 (0.58) 30.5 (0.44) 30.7 (0.47)
Russian Federation 53.1 (—) 56.0 (—) 54.8 (—) 59.3 (—) 55.6 (—) 59.8 (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Saudi Arabia (†) (†) 23.2 (—) 25.8 (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
South Africa 11.2 (—) 9.5 (—) 11.9 (—) 10.6 (—) 12.0 (—) 10.1 (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
1 For 2016, standard errors for the following countries were estimated by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): Canada, Korea, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, and Turkey.
2 Refers to the mean of the data values for all reporting Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, to which each country reporting data contributes equally. The average includes all current OECD countries for which a given year's data are available, even if they were not members of OECD in that year. Standard errors for the OECD average were estimated by NCES.
3 Data for all years include some upper secondary and postsecondary nontertiary awards (i.e., awards that are below the associate's degree level).
4 U.S. standard errors for all years were estimated by NCES.
NOTE: Data in this table include all tertiary degrees, which correspond to all degrees at the associate’s level and above in the United States. The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) was revised in 2011. The previous version, ISCED 1997, was used to calculate all data for years prior to 2014. ISCED 2011 was used to calculate all data for 2014 and later years (with the exception of data for China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa, which were calculated using ISCED 1997). Under ISCED 2011, tertiary degrees are classified at the following levels: level 5 (corresponding to an associate's degree in the United States), level 6 (a bachelor's or equivalent degree), level 7 (a master's or equivalent degree), and level 8 (a doctoral or equivalent degree). Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Unless otherwise noted, all data in this table were calculated by OECD or the relevant country and had been validated for consistency and accuracy by OECD and the relevant country as of September 28, 2017. For more information on OECD and NCES estimation methodology used for this table, see the "Online Education Database" section of the entry for OECD in Appendix A: Guide to Sources. Standard errors for 2000 and 2005 have been excluded due to limited data availability.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Online Education Database, retrieved October 20, 2017, from http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx. (This table was prepared October 2017.)