Education

A variety of statistical tables are available on this topic and these can be accessed via the Census Data Explorer.

Information on Education is derived from the qualifications question (Q23) on the 2011 Census Questionnaire.

Some interesting results on Education in Scotland from the 2011 Census are provided below.

Levels of qualification in Scotland

In 2011, just over quarter (26 per cent, 1.1 million) of the population in Scotland aged 16 and over had achieved Census Level 4 or above qualifications, such as a university degree. A similar proportion (27 per cent, 1.2 million people) reported they held no qualifications. It is important to note that the group who reported no qualifications will have included those aged 16 and over who were still studying towards the completion of their formal education.

Regional differences

The City of Edinburgh had the highest level of qualifications; 41 per cent (168,000) of its population aged 16 and over had Census Level 4 or above qualifications. The proportion of the population aged 16 and over with Census Level 4 or above qualifications was lowest in West Dunbartonshire at 17 per cent (12,000). The City of Edinburgh also had the lowest proportion of the population with no qualifications at 17 per cent (69,000). East Ayrshire showed the highest proportion reporting ‘No qualifications’, at just over one third (34 per cent, 35,000) of the population aged 16 and over.

Highest level of qualification by ethnic group

Out of the six broad ethnic groups (White, Asian, Mixed or multiple, African, Caribbean and Black, Other ethnic groups), the “African” ethnic group category had the highest proportion of highly qualified people: 55 per cent (12,000) of people aged 16 and above held Census Level 4 or above qualifications. The next highest proportion was for the “Other Ethnic Groups” category, at 53 per cent (6,000 people). The “White” ethnic group category had the lowest proportion of people aged 16 and over with Census Level 4 or above qualifications, at 25 per cent (1.1 million).

Within the “White” ethnic group population, the sub-group with the lowest proportion of people aged 16 and over with Census Level 4 or above qualifications was “White: Scottish”, at 22 per cent (811,000), and the sub-group with the highest proportion was “White: Other” (which includes “White: Gypsy/Traveller”, “White: Polish” and “White: Other White”) at 50 per cent (71,000).

Highest level of qualification by length of residence in the UK

People who had arrived more recently in the UK were generally more highly qualified than those who were either born in the UK, or who had been resident in the UK for 10 years or more. For example, 8 per cent (6,000 people) of those aged 16 and over who had been resident in the UK for less than two years had no qualifications compared with 28 per cent (1.1 million people) of those born in the UK.

Highest level of qualification by household composition

At the time of the 2011 Census, 26 per cent of the 4.3 million people aged 16 and over living in households in Scotland held a degree level or equivalent qualification. This proportion was highest (34 per cent) for the 830,000 people aged 16 and over living in couple family households with no children and lowest (13 per cent) for the 227,000 people aged 16 and over in lone parent family households with dependent children.

Of those people aged 16 and over in households, 27 per cent had no qualifications. This proportion was highest (59 per cent) for households where all the people in the household were aged 65 or over, followed by lone parent family households where all children in the household were non-dependent (35 per cent)