Where are all the graduates? Italy has second lowest percentage in the EU

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Where are all the graduates? Italy has second lowest percentage in the EU
Students sitting an examination. File photo: Wavebreakmedia/Deposit Photos"

Italy has the second lowest percentage of university graduates in the European Union, Eurostat statistics released on Wednesday showed.


Just over one in four Italians (26.2 percent) aged between 30 and 34 has completed a university degree, a figure only outdone in Romania, where it was 25.6 percent.

However, the figure for Italy had almost doubled since 2002, when it stood at 13.1 percent.

Across the European Union as a whole, the percentage of people with university-level education stood at 39.1 percent, up from 23.6 percent in 2002. Lithuania topped the table, with 58.7 percent, followed by Luxembourg (54.6 percent) and Cyprus (53.4 percent).

READ ALSO: Two in five Italian uni students fail to graduate

In line with an EU-wide trend, women in Italy are significantly more likely to complete a university degree than their male counterparts, with 32.5 percent doing so compared to 19.9 percent of men.


Italy also saw a high rate of early school leavers, with only four countries performing worse. With 14 percent of Italians not having reached a secondary level of education, Italy had reached its country target for 2016, but remains a long way off the EU average of 10.7 percent. 

EU countries are aiming for 40 percent of 30-34-year-olds to have university degrees by 2020, by which time they also hope that more than 90 percent will have completed secondary education.

READ ALSO: Young Italian workers are among the worst paid in Europe


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also