Tertiary educational attainment by sex (sdg_04_20)

ESMS Indicator Profile (ESMS-IP)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Relevance
4. Statistical Indicator
5. Frequency and Timeliness of dissemination
6. Coverage and comparability
7. Accessibility and clarity
8. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
Eurostat Quality Profile
4.5. Source data


5.1. Frequency of dissemination Every year
5.2. Timeliness T+1 year
6.1. Reference area All EU MS
6.2. Comparability - geographical All EU MS
6.3. Coverage - Time > 10 years
6.4. Comparability - over time > 4 data points

Description of Eurostat quality grading system under the following link.

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

e-mail contact : ESTAT-SDI-EU2020-INDICATORS@ec.europa.eu

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 16/11/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 18/06/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 09/03/2020

3. Relevance Top

The indicator is part of the indicator sets:

a) EU Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicator set where it is used to monitor progress towards SDG 4 on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and SDG 5 on gender equality.

SDG 4 seeks to ensure people have access to equitable and quality education through all stages of life, from early childhood education and care, through primary and secondary schooling, to technical, vocational training and tertiary education. SDG 5 aims at achieving gender equality by, among other things, ending all forms of discrimination, violence, and any harmful practices against women and girls in the public and private spheres.

b) EU 2020 strategy indicators where it is used to monitor progress towards the EU's target of 'increasing the share of the population aged 30 to 34 having completed tertiary or equivalent education to at least 40 %' by 2020.

Furthermore, indicator is part of the impact indicators for Strategic plan 2016-2020 referring to the 10 Commission priorities, and included as a secondary indicator in the Social Scoreboard for the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Education and training lie at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy and are seen as key drivers for growth and jobs. The EU has defined upper secondary education as the minimum desirable educational attainment level for EU citizens. The skills and competences gained in upper secondary education are considered essential for successful entry into the labour market and as the foundation for lifelong learning. All girls and boys t should therefore have not only access to primary and secondary education but also to be able to complete their schooling, because leaving school early has a big impact on people’s lives. People with a low level of education may not only face greater difficulties in the labour market but also have a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion. At the same time, education and training help boost productivity, innovation and competitiveness.

4. Statistical Indicator Top
4.1. Data description

The indicator measures the share of the population aged 30-34 who have successfully completed tertiary studies (e.g. university, higher technical institution, etc.). This educational attainment refers to ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) 2011 level 5-8 for data from 2014 onwards and to ISCED 1997 level 5-6 for data up to 2013. The indicator is based on the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS).

4.2. Unit of measure

% of the population aged 30-34

4.3. Reference Period

Calendar year

4.4. Accuracy - overall

The indicator is produced according to the high-level quality standards of European Statistics. Details on accuracy can be found in the metadata of the source datasets (see link to related metadata).

4.5. Source data


Data source: ESS Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Data provider: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, based on data reported by the countries.

5. Frequency and Timeliness of dissemination Top
5.1. Frequency of dissemination

Every year

The indicator is updated annually in April.

5.2. Timeliness

T+1 year

New data points are disseminated within one year after the reference year.

6. Coverage and comparability Top
6.1. Reference area


Data are presented for all EU Member States plus the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, North Macedonia and Turkey.

6.2. Comparability - geographical


Data are comparable between all EU Member States respectively other presented countries.

6.3. Coverage - Time

> 10 years

Presented times series (including EU aggregates) starts in 2002.

6.4. Comparability - over time

> 4 data points

Length of comparable time series without methodological break is more than 4 data points.

Introduction of the ISCED 2011 classification: educational attainment is coded according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). Data up to 2013 are based on ISCED 1997, as from 2014 ISCED 2011 is applied. Time series for tertiary education are comparable over time for all available countries except Austria.

The level shift break in Austria is due to the reclassification of a programme spanning levels: the qualification acquired upon successful completion of higher technical and vocational colleges is allocated in ISCED 2011 to ISCED level 5; under ISCED 1997 the same qualification was reported on ISCED level 4, but earmarked as equivalent to tertiary education.

7. Accessibility and clarity Top
7.1. Dissemination format - Publications

Analysis of the indicator is presented in

a) Eurostat's annual monitoring report on Sustainable development in the EU (progress towards SDGs in the EU context).
b) Eurostat's annual monitoring report on the Europe 2020 strategy 'Smarter greener, more inclusive? - Indicators to support the Europe 2020 strategy'.
7.2. Dissemination format - online database

see tables:

a) sdg_04_20

b) t2020_41

7.3. Dissemination format - other

Eurostat dedicated section on:

a) SDGs: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/sdi/overview

b) EU 2020 strategy: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/europe-2020-indicators/europe-2020-strategy

8. Comment Top

Copyrights: Eurostat Copyright/Licence Policy is applicable.

Related metadata Top
edat1_esms - Population by educational attainment level

Annexes Top