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Press release

Growing share of employed persons having higher education

Results of the Population and Housing Census 20211 show that 41.2 % of 820.5 thousand employed persons aged 25 and over in Latvia had higher education at the beginning of 2021. Since the Population and Housing Census 2011 the indicator has gone up by 5.2 percentage points. Last year, one fourth (24.7 %) of the employed persons had acquired master's degree2, 12.7 % had bachelor's degree, 3.1 % college education, and 0.7 % doctoral degree.

Majority of employed persons aged 25 and over (37.5 %) had completed secondary education (general or vocational), 14 % vocational or professional education after secondary education, 6.9 % basic education (second stage of basic education), and 0.4 % primary education (first stage of basic education)

Larger share of employed persons having higher education in almost all occupational groupings

In 2021, managers as well as technicians and associate professionals accounted for 44.2 % of employed persons aged 25 and over, craft and related trades workers for 22.7 %, clerical support workers and service workers constituted one fifth (19.8 %), and elementary occupations comprised the smallest share (12.6 %).

The proportion of people having higher education and engaged in elementary occupations grew from 6.3 % to 10.5 %, whereas that of people having basic education or lover fell from 20.3 % to 16.7 %

Among skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers, the share of employed persons having higher education has dropped by 5.8 percentage points (from 9.1 % to 3.3 %), while the share of those having basic education or lower has increased by 5.1 percentage points (from 19 % to 24.1 %).

Higher employment rate observed among employed persons having higher education

In 2021 the highest employment rate among persons aged 25–64 was registered among those having acquired doctorate (92.7 %), followed by those having master's degree (85.2 %), bachelor's degree (82.7 %), and college education (85.1 %). The share of employed elderly population (people at retirement age, i.e., aged 64 and over) accounted for one fifth (20.4 %). Similar trend was observed also in this age group – higher employment rate among those having higher education; moreover 50 % of doctorate holders continued working, followed by 54 % of those having college education, 28.9 % having master’s degree, and 42.3 % of those having bachelor's degree.

Out of the people at retirement age having vocational or professional education after secondary education 22.2 % were employed, followed by 18.8 % of people having secondary education, 10.3 % of those having basic education, 4.4 % of those having primary education, and 2.6 % of people with no schooling or lower than primary education.

Methodological explanations

1 Unlike in previous Population and Housing Censuses, the Census 2021 is based on the information available in administrative data sources, by fully refusing from surveying population online and in places of residence.

2 Educational attainment is defined based on the levels of education classified under the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-2011). The compliance of the current classification of the education system of the Republic of Latvia with the ISCED-2011 classification is set by the Regulations of the Cabinet No 322 “Regulations on the Classification of Education in Latvia” of 13 June 2017: higher education (ISCED levels 5–8), vocational education after secondary education (ISCED level 4), secondary education (ISCED level 3), basic education or lower (ISCED level 0–2).

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Phone: +371 67366989, +371 27880666

More information on data:
Social Statistics Methodology Section
Sigita Meldere
Phone: +371 67366751