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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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Are Young People Attaining Higher Levels of Education than their Parents?

  • Between 2000 and 2012, the proportion of young adults (25-34 year-olds) with a tertiary qualification has grown by more than 3% per year on average in OECD countries.
  • On average across 24 national and sub-national entities participating in the OECD Survey of Adult Skills, 39% of adults have achieved a higher level of education than their parents.
  • A 20-34 year-old with tertiary educated parents is 4.5 times more likely to participate in tertiary education than a young adult whose parents did not have a tertiary qualification.

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