Years of Schooling in Europe

How many years do Europeans spend on average in the education system?

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Map of the mean years of schooling in Europe.

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This map gives us a look at how long Europeans are in the education system on average. Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily say something about the quality of the education.

We can see there is a pretty clear divide between the northern and southern half of Europe. In the southern half the mean is usually less than 12 years, in the north more than 12 years. The statistic covers all people over the age of 25. This means that the vast majority of the people in this statistic have already completely finished their education, which gives a more accurate view. The downside of including such a large age group, means that a lot of people are included that grew up in an age where a secondary school degree was enough to get a decent job. These people bring down the mean significantly. Sadly, there is no data available per age group.

Germany has the highest mean and the only one above 14 years (14.2). Switzerland, the UK and the Baltics are the only other European countries with a mean of 13 years or higher. Almost all of the other countries in western, northern and central Europe have a mean of 12 years or higher.

The lowest mean can be found in Turkey (8.1), Portugal (9.3), Bosnia & Herzegovina and Northern Macedonia (9.8). These are also the only European countries where the mean is below 10 years.

Curious about the mean years of schooling in Asia? Check out this map.

Data for this map comes from the UNDP.


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