Recommended by the EU, this indicator shows the distribution of educational resources among the different population groups living in Switzerland. It is an essential indicator for structural integration and equality of opportunity in the education system. The level of education a person completes forms the base for their future participation in the education system and on the labour market. The chances of integrating are slim if no education has been completed. The higher the level of education completed, the better the other structural opportunities for integration.
In the permanent resident population in 2018, most people had completed upper secondary level education (47%), followed by tertiary level (35%) and lastly, compulsory education level (18%). The fact should be taken into account, however, that many people aged between 15 and 30 are still in education and have therefore not yet reached their highest level of education.
The most wide-ranging distribution of the different educational levels is to be found among persons with no migration background: 52% of them obtain upper secondary level, 34% tertiary, and 14% compulsory education. Among persons with a migration background from the first generation, the distribution between the three educational levels was fairly even (between 27% for compulsory education and 38% for tertiary education). In the population with a migration background from the second generation, the rates were close for persons with compulsory education as highest level (22%) and tertiary level (28%). Nevertheless, the rate of persons with an upper secondary level was higher (51%).
In the period from 2011 to 2018, the distribution of the population groups (by nationality and country of birth or by migration status) among the different levels of education (compulsory, upper secondary and tertiary) remained stable over the years.
At the level of compulsory education, the decline was statistically significant for all groups between 2011 and 2014 and between 2013 and 2018.
Overall, the rates for upper secondary level remained very stable irrespective of the population group observed apart from the population as a whole and the population without a migration background and the first generation among whom a significant decline in rates can be observed between 2011 and 2018 and between 2013 and 2018.
At tertiary education an increase in rates can be seen in most of the populations considered, excepting foreign nationals born in Switzerland amongst whom the rate shows no difference between 2011 and 2014 and remains the lowest.
The same trend can be seen in all major regions: there is stark disparity in the different levels of education among the population without a migration background. Upper secondary level leads with rates of over 50% almost everywhere, followed by tertiary level (between 31% in Ticino and 42% in Zurich) and lastly persons whose highest level of education is compulsory education (less than 20% everywhere).
In the population with a migration background, this disparity is less extreme: in Lake Geneva region for example, the three education levels range from 27% to 38%. The level of upper secondary level dominates in three major regions and in each population group: in Espace Mittelland, in Eastern Switzerland and in Ticino (41%, 44% and 38% respectively). Conversely, tertiary education largely dominates in Zurich. In Lake Geneva region, in Northwest Switzerland and in Central Switzerland, the population with a migration background shows equal rates for upper secondary level and tertiary level education.
To establish the level of education, the highest educational level completed is taken into account to calculate the percentage of the population that has obtained a given educational level. Unless otherwise indicated, only persons aged 15 years and older are included.
Three levels of education are used:
- compulsory education not completed;
- compulsory education completed;
- commercial or general education school (1 year), household or language training.
Upper secondary level
- basic vocational training;
- full-time vocational school ;
- general education school;
- academic Matura, professional Baccalaureate, teacher training college.
- advanced federal PET diploma or certificate;
- professional or technical school.;
- advanced professional or technical school;
- university, university of applied sciences, of teacher education or federal institute of technology.
Persons aged 15 and over with given level of education /Total of persons aged 15 and over