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The 2011 census asked people aged 16 and over about the highest qualification they held. This included qualifications from:

  • school
  • college
  • university
  • apprenticeships or professional training

Qualification levels

26.1% of people aged 16 and over had a university degree or professional qualification.

That’s 1.1 million people.

1.2 million people had no qualifications. This number includes people aged 16 and over who might still be studying.

Education across Scotland

The City of Edinburgh was Scotland's most qualified council area.

Among Edinburgh residents aged 16 and over:

  • 41.4% had a university degree, professional qualification, or higher
  • 17.1% had no qualifications

16.5% of people in West Dunbartonshire had university or professional qualifications. This was the lowest in Scotland.

East Ayrshire had the highest proportion of people with no qualifications, at 34.1%.

Ethnic groups

The African ethnic group was more qualified than other ethnic groups.

55.1% of people aged 16 and over in the African ethnic group had a university or professional qualification.

The White Scottish ethnic group category had the lowest proportion of adults with university or professional education. 29.0% of people who listed their ethnic group as White Scottish reported no qualifications.

Recent arrivals to the UK

People who had recently arrived in the UK were generally more qualified.

Just 10.2% of people aged 16 and over who arrived in the UK between 2001 and 2011 had no qualifications.

This is compared to 27.7% of people born in the UK who had no qualifications.

Explore Scotland's Census

You can find out even more about levels of education in Scotland's population. The data from Scotland's Census is easy to use and free for everyone.

Area overviews

View and compare simple census results for postcodes, towns, council areas, or all of Scotland.

Search the data

Get detailed data tables for a wide range of topics and geographies with our data searching tool.

Analytical reports

Read detailed reports that make use of census data to explore various topics.