Educational attainment of the population aged 25 years and above


Distribution of the population aged 25 years and above according to the highest level of education attained or completed. Education levels are defined according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).

Data source

National population census; household and/or labour force surveys.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Calculation method

Divide the number of persons aged 25 years and above with respect to the highest level of education attained by the total population of the same age group and multiply the result by 100.

Data required

Population aged 25 years and above by highest level of education attained.


Educational attainment by the level of education provides an indication of the stock of knowledge, skills and competencies associated with completing that level. Differences in the distribution of attainment between different population groups can provide an indication of the current and historical effectiveness of the education system in promoting equal access to education.


Caution is required when using this indicator for cross-country comparison, since the countries do not always classify degrees and qualifications at the same ISCED levels, even if they are received at roughly the same age or after a similar number of years of schooling. Moreover, certain educational programmes and study courses cannot be easily classified according to ISCED, and segments of the population may be assigned an unknown level of educational attainment. In reporting educational attainment this indicator only measures educational attainment in terms of the level of education attained and does not necessarily reveal the quality of the education.


To show the educational composition of the population aged 25 years and above. This indicator reflects the structure and performance of the education system and informs policies to increase educational opportunity.

Quality standards

This indicator should be based on complete and reliable census or survey data, applying clear classification of levels of education in accordance with ISCED.

Types of disaggregation

By sex and by age group.