Country-level variances in graduate education in Europe

A look at education data for a range of European countries shows significant variation in the level of equality between men and women in terms of graduate-level education. While some countries, including France and Switzerland, have a much larger share of men with advanced degrees, women are significantly more likely to hold an advanced degree in countries such as Slovenia, Portugal, and Poland. In other countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany, differences in educational achievement between each sex were smaller, with a gap of only a few percentage points. As an aggregate across all countries, men and women were equally likely to have an advanced degree, with there being approximately 1,467 more degree-holding women in an approximate total population of 33.4 million.

The figures in the right side of the chart indicate the size of the spread between the population sized of male and female degree recipients as a percentage of the total degree-holding population (calculated using the formula below), with negative numbers indicating that females are underrepresented and positive numbers indicating that males are underrepresented.


Estimates for the number of male and female advanced degree recipients in each country were calculated using the following formula, with terms defined below:


TotalPop: Total national population

SexPercentage: Male or female percentage of total population

SumAgeCohorts: The sum of all male or female age cohorts (as a percentage of male or female population) aged 25 or older, with cohorts covering five-year sets ranging from 25–29 through 75–79 and 80+

PercentageAdvDegree: Percentage of male or female population aged 25 or older with a Master’s degree or its equivalent


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