Women have higher education level than men in every Belgian commune

Women have higher education level than men in every Belgian commune
Students attend a political sciences lecture at UCLouvain university. Credit: Belga / Hatim Kaghat

Women in Belgium possess a higher level of education than their male counterparts, according to Belgian statistical office Statbel, with 42% of women holding higher education qualifications compared to 32% of men.

The data collected pertains to the working-age population aged between 25 and 64. Of this cohort, 10% have either no education or only primary level education, 17% have completed lower secondary education while 37% possess upper secondary education. A further 37% hold higher level education qualifications.

Of this 37%, a number of findings demonstrate that higher level education is stronger among women than it is men: 42% of women completed third-level education compared to 32% of men.

This gender disparity exists to varying degrees in every single municipality across Belgium. The highest levels of education were seen around southern Brussels, central Flemish Brabant, western Walloon Brabant, Ghent, Antwerp, Arlon and south of Liège. The largest gender gaps (with women coming out on top every time) were in southern Walloon municipalities.

Translation: Education levels in Belgium - The highest certificate obtained (Belgian population aged 25 to 64) - Primary or no education - lower secondary - upper secondary - higher education.

Flanders displays the narrowest gender gap. 77% of the working population possess full secondary education or more (79% among women and 75% among men). In the Brussels-Capital Region, this figure drops to 66% with a similarly small gender gap (68% women, 65% men). Meanwhile, 73% of women in Wallonia fell into this category compared to 66% of men.

Education rates among women have also advanced at a quicker pace than among men. Between 2011 and 2021, the proportion of women with higher education rose from 34% to 39% (men's education levels rose from 27% to 28% during the same period).

Age is another important factor: the younger the age group, the higher the level of education. In addition, older women are less likely to be more educated than men while the opposite is true for women under 60.

Related News

Belgian statistics reflect a wider European trend. According to EU statistical office Eurostat, 42% of EU citizens aged between 25 and 34 hold higher level education. For women, this rises to 48% and falls to 37% among men.

The EU is aiming to achieve 45% third-level education rate among this age group by 2030. Belgium has already exceeded this target with 51.4% of 25 to 34-year-olds in or having completed third-level education.

Credit: Eurostat

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.