The number of 25-64 year olds with tertiary education has increased by more than 16 percentage points since 2003. A total of 84,700 persons had completed tertiary education in 2022, almost 43% of the population in this age group. In the same time period, there was a decrease by about 13 percentage points among those who had only completed basic education, which were in total 43,200 in 2022, almost 22% of the population aged 25-64 years. The proportion of those who had at most completed upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education has remained fairly stable since 2003, between 35% and 39% of the 25-64 year old population.
A more rapid increase in the number of women with tertiary education than men
From 2003, the number of 25-64 year old women with tertiary education has increased more rapidly than the number of men. During this period, the number of women with tertiary education has increased by almost 25 percentage points, with more than half of women aged 25-64 years having completed tertiary education in 2022. In the same time period, the number of males with tertiary education has increased by just under 9 percentage points, with almost 33% of 25-64 year old males having completed tertiary education in 2022.
A considerable difference in educational attainment by residence
The educational attainment of residents outside the Capital region was considerably lower than of those living in that region in 2022. More than half of 25-64 year old residents in the Capital region was educated at the tertiary level, but just under 30% of residents outside the Capital region. Almost 32% of 25-64 year olds outside the Capital region had only completed basic education, twice the proportion in the Capital region, where the proportion was just under 16%.
Higher employment rate with increased educational attainment
In 2022, the employment rate for 25-64 year olds was highest among those with tertiary education, almost 94%. It was just under 93% among persons with education at the post-secondary non-tertiary level and almost 90% among those who had at most completed vocational education at the upper secondary level. The employment rate was lowest among those who had only completed basic education, just over 78%.
About the data
The data are based on the Statistics Iceland Labour Force Survey. The Labour Force Survey is based on international definitions and standards. The sample frame includes all Icelandic and foreign citizens aged 16–74 residing in Iceland. The total sample size in 2022 was 19,995. When those who had passed away and those who were living abroad had been deducted from the sample the net sample was 19,597 persons. The total number of usable answers was 11,482 which correspond to a 58.6% response rate. All results have been weighted by age and sex.