Ireland has far higher rate of third-level education than EU average, CSO data shows

Women across all age groupings have higher levels of third-level attainment than men

Ireland has a far higher rate of third-level education than the EU averages, with women more likely to attain it than men, new data shows.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), women across all age groupings from 25 to 64 years had higher levels of third level attainment than men.

Ireland was above the EU27 average across all age groupings last year, with 25- to 34-year-olds showing the largest difference at 21 per cent.

The Educational Attainment Thematic Report for 2022 also highlights geographical disparities with 62 per cent of those aged between 25 and 64 in Dublin having a third level qualification compared to 46 per cent in the Midlands.


Meanwhile, 25 to 34-year-olds age have the highest level of third level attainment at 63 per cent, followed by those aged from 35 to 44 (58 per cent).

In the second quarter of 2022, according to social analysis statistician Kevin Healy, the “younger age groups reported the highest levels of third level attainment, with around six in 10 of 25 to 34 and 35 to 45-year-olds having a third level qualification.

“[That] compared with approximately one-third of 60 to 64-year-olds. This reflects increased levels of participation in third level education over time.”

The CSO data is compiled using Labour Force Survey in Q2 2022 and 2021 Eurostat information.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times