GIOVENTU » Italy has second lowest percentage of graduates in the EU

Italy has second lowest percentage of graduates in the EU

If intellectual unemployment is a problem in Italy, we can't blame the excessive number of graduates, if anything it’s the lack of opportunities. Eurostar statistics revealed that Italy has the second lowest percentage of graduates in the EU. Across the European Union as a whole, 39.1 percent of the people have a university-level education. Lithuania was on top of the statistic with 58.7 percent, followed by Luxembourg (54.6 percent) and Cyprus (53.4 percent).


If we look at Italy, just over one in four Italians (26.2 percent) aged between 30 and 34 has completed a university degree, only Romania did worse with 25.6 percent of graduates.

The Italian data is quite good if we consider that the number of Italian graduates has doubled from 2002, when they were only 13.1 percent. Accordingly, in 2016, the percentage of graduates has grown in all the EU, reaching 39.1 percent.

Even though the number of Italians with a secondary school diploma has doubled compared to 2002 and the actual number exceeds the national target by 26 %, the 40% EU target is still far away.  


Italy is also one of the last countries for combatting early school-leaving. It is the fifth worse, only ahead of Portugal, Romania, Spain and Malta. Italy has 14% of 18-24 year-old students non obtaining a secondary school diploma, the national target was curbing early school-leaving at 16%, but the EU target is 10%. 


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.


Considering occupation, only 53% of graduates find a job in the tree years after graduation.


According to the European statistics agency Italians earn less than the French, the German and the British, and young Italian workers are among the worst paid in Europe.


The province of Rome has the highest percentage of college graduates, partly due to the amount of government employees, followed by Milan (28.7%). The lowest percentages can be found in the provinces of Sondrio (11.6%) and Medio Campidano (12.5%).


Youth unemployment is 40.3%. Italy's rate is double the European average of 20.3%, with dramatic peaks in the province of Medio Campidano (74.7%). More encouraging figures can be found in Bolzano (11.9%).

Giulia Lombardo

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