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February 2018 - The Brussels population, the most highly educated of Belgium

Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) - In the spotlight - Breakdown of the population (25 years of age and older) of each region by level of education.

Among the three Belgian regions, the Brussels Region has the highest percentage of residents with a diploma of higher education. In all regions, one third of the population has little or no qualifications.
 

Breakdown of the population (25 years of age and older) of each region by level of education, in 2016
 

 

Methodology

The population’s educational attainment levels were calculated using the 25+ age group. To create the graph above, this population was divided into three educational attainment levels (low, medium, high)[1] for each place of residence (the Regions and Belgium):

  • an individual has a low level of education if he at most obtained a diploma of lower secondary education;

  • an individual has a medium level of education if he at most obtained a diploma of higher secondary education;

  • an individual has a high level of education if he at most obtained a diploma of higher education (university or non-university).

 

One in three Brussels residents in does not have a diploma of secondary education

The results of the 2016 Labour Force Survey show that on average 33% of people living in Belgium have little or no qualifications, as they, at most, obtained a diploma of lower secondary education. At a regional level, a similar pattern can be observed: 33% of Brussels, 32% of Flemish and 35% of Walloon citizens have a low level of education.
 

Four out of ten Brussels residents have a diploma of higher education

Nationwide, one in three people on average has a diploma of higher education (university and non-university combined). The Flemish and Walloon Regions come close to the national average as 32% and 31% of their population respectively have a high level of education. At 41%, the Brussels population is the most highly educated in Belgium.

Conversely, the Brussels Region has fewer people with a medium level of education than the other Regions. 26% of the Brussels population at most has a diploma of higher secondary education while, in the Flemish and Walloon Regions, that percentage hovers around the national average of 35%.
 

Fewer people have little or no qualifications

Since 2006, the level of education of the Belgian population has steadily increased. In 10 years, the share of the population with a low level of education has decreased across all Regions, in favour of the medium and high levels of education. The residents of the Brussels Region are increasingly likely to have a diploma of higher education while the numbers of people with a diploma of higher secondary education remain the same. In the Flemish and the Walloon Regions however, the segment of the population with a diploma of higher secondary or higher education continues to grow.

 


[1] These educational attainment levels are based on the 1997 International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). In this classification, low education corresponds to levels 0, 1 and 2; medium education to levels 3 and 4 and high education to levels 5 to 8.