The development of educational attainment over the last years and decades (between 1971 and 2018) shows a general rise in the attainment level of the Austrian population. While in 1971 still 57.8% of the Austrian population between 25 and 64 had completed compulsory education only, in 2018 this share decreased to a mere 17.9%. All forms of education subsequent to compulsory schooling showed significant gains. Since 1971 the percentage of people who gained a ‘Matura’ (secondary school leaving certificate or diploma of a higher vocational college, both qualifying for university admission) as their highest degree has more than doubled. Particularly remarkable, however, is the rise in university degrees. While in 1971 only 2.8% of the Austrian population between 25 and 64 years were university graduates, in 2018 the percentage was more than five times higher (15.8%).
In recent decades, especially women caught up with regard to educational attainment. In 1971 still 70.4% of the female population between 25 and 64 years had finished compulsory education only. In 2018 this rate went down to 20.5%. However, there is still a remarkable gender difference: in 2018 only 15.2% of the male population between 25 and 64 years had no degree higher than compulsory education.
The register of educational attainment contains information on the formal education degrees of the Austrian population of the age of 15 years and over. It was first filled with data on the highest educational attainment from the population census 2001 and has been updated since with degrees achieved at Austrian schools and universities as well as with data reported by the economic chamber and the agricultural chambers (apprenticeship examination, master craftsman examination), and the Federal Ministry of Health (diploma of perfusionists). In addition, the Public Employment Service (AMS) annually informs about the educational attainment of the recipients of benefits. From the central register of residents (ZMR) information about the place of residence, citizenship and possible academic title is used. The educational attainment of immigrants who came to Austria after 2001 is known if they acquired a degree in Austria afterwards, if an academic degree was recorded in the central register of residents (ZMR), if a foreign graduation was recognized, or if a person is a benefit recipient from the Public Employment Service (AMS). For all other persons immigrating after 2001 the educational attainment is estimated. In 2017 the Public Employment Service (AMS) provided improved data and therefore the statistics for the educational attainment of 2015 were revised. The educational attainment statistics up to 2014 are not yet revised.
Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.
© STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Last Changed 12.05.2021