In 2017, in Italy, it is estimated that 60.9% of 25-64 year olds have attained at least upper secondary education; a value distant from the European average (77.5%). In particular, the low share of tertiary graduates weighs on the difference: 18.7% in Italy and 31.4% in the EU.
From 2008 to 2017 the share of the population with at least the upper secondary diploma had a strong rise. More limited, compared to the European average, the growing share of the population with a tertiary degree.
The level of education for women is higher than for men: 63.0% attained at least upper secondary education (against 58.8% of men) and 21.5% tertiary education (against 15.8% of men). Furthermore, female education levels were increasing faster than male levels.
Unlike other European countries, in the last nine years in Italy, the percentage of foreigners with at least an upper secondary qualification reduced and at the same time the share of those with a tertiary qualification did not increase.
In 2017, the share of early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24) is estimated at 14.0%; for the first time since 2008, the figure did not improve compared to the previous year. In Italy early school leaving is much more significant among foreigners than Italians (33.1% against 12.1%). Territorial differences in early school leavers were very strong – 18.5% in the South, 10.7% in the Centre, 11.3% in the North – and they did not show signs of shrinking.
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