Women have higher level of education than men in Belgium

Women in Belgium are more likely to have higher education qualifications than men, figures from the statistics office Statbel show. More than four in 10 women (42 per cent) aged 25 to 64 hold a higher education degree, compared to 32 per cent of men in the same group. ​ 

The proportion of men and women with only primary level education is the same in Belgium: about 10 per cent for both men and women. In terms of higher education, women are more often highly educated. The gap is widening every year. In a decade, the proportion of women with a higher education degree increased from 36 to 42 per cent. Among men, the percentage rose from 30 to 32 per cent.

This gender gap exists to varying degrees in every municipality in Belgium but is particularly pronounced in the southern Walloon municipalities. In Wallonia as a whole, 73 per cent of women fall into the higher education category, compared with 66 per cent of men.

Flanders shows the smallest gender gap: 77 per cent of the working population has a degree of full secondary education or higher (79 per cent among women and 75 per cent among men). In Brussels, 66 per cent have a higher education degree and there is an equally small gender gap, with 68 per cent women and 65 per cent men. 

In addition to gender, age is another important factor in education level. Statbel figures show that younger age groups have higher levels of education. Just under half of women (49 per cent) between the ages of 25 and 29 have a higher education degree, compared to only 13 per cent of over-75s. Among men, this gap is slightly smaller: 34 per cent compared to 21 per cent.


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