Results of the 2021 Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania
One of the most important indicators of a society’s level of development is educational attainment of the population. Based on the data of the 2021 Population and Housing Census (hereinafter referred to as the “Census”), 98.3 per cent of the population aged 10 and older had attained higher, post-secondary tertiary and special secondary1, upper secondary, lower secondary and primary education. Compared to the data of the first Population and Housing Census after the Restoration of Independence of Lithuania, which was conducted in 2001, education level of the population has been growing rapidly: the proportion of population having higher education in the society grew more than 2 times – from 12.6 per cent (in 2001) to 27 per cent (in 2021).
The general trends in the level of education of the population are defined by the indicators calculated per 1,000 population. Based on the 2021 Census data, there were 270 persons having higher education per 1,000 population aged 10 and older (in 2001 – 126, 2011 – 212) (see Fig. 1). The number of persons having upper secondary education also increased – 272 persons per 1,000 population aged 10 and older in 2001, 306 – in 2011, 318 – in 2021.
Fig. 1. Educational attainment of the population in 2001, 2011 and 2021
(per 1,000 population aged 10 and older)
1The post-secondary tertiary education could be obtained upon graduating from professional college before 2006, special secondary education – technical school or other special school (pedagogical, medical, cultural, etc.) before 1995.
Higher education is mostly attained by urban population. Among urban population, persons having higher education accounts for 31.2 per cent, those having upper secondary education – 30.4 per cent. Among rural population, those having upper secondary education prevail (34.6 per cent). Comparing the urban and rural population, the larger proportion of rural population had upper secondary (34.6 per cent), lower secondary (17.1 per cent) and primary (13.2 per cent) education (urban population – 30.4, 11.6 and 9.2 per cent respectively). (See Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Urban and rural population by educational attainment, 2021, per cent
(Aged 10 and older)
Based on the 2021 Census data, higher education predominates among women (30.6 per cent), upper secondary – among men (35.7 per cent). (See Fig. 3).
Comparing the 2001 and 2021 Census data, the proportion of women with higher education increased more – 2.3 times, men – 2 times. This shows that women were slightly more active in pursuing higher education. Compared to the results of the 2001 Census, the proportion of the population having upper secondary education also increased. The proportion of men having such education increased more than that of women – 1.3 and 1.1 times respectively.
Fig. 3. Men and women by educational attainment in 2001, 2011 and 2021, in thousand
(Aged 10 and older)
The 2021 Census data reveal the differences in the population educational attainment by age. One in two persons having higher education was aged 25–44. Among persons having post-secondary tertiary and special secondary, those aged 50 and older accounted for 84.3 per cent. Children aged 10–14 accounted for 39.8 per cent of the population having primary education. The lowest educational attainment level was among population aged 70 and older. One in four persons having only primary or lower secondary education was aged 70 and older. 10.3 per cent of the population of this age group had higher education.
The 2021 Census results also showed regional differences in terms of educational attainment of the population (Fig. 4). In six municipalities (Vilnius city, Neringa, Kaunas city, Palanga town, Kaunas district, Klaipėda city), the indicator of the population having higher education exceeded the national average (there were 300 persons with higher education per 1,000 population aged 10 and older). It was the highest in Vilnius city municipality – 423.
Fig. 4. Population with higher education in municipalities, 2021
The number of persons with higher education per 1,000 population aged 10 and over
The largest number of educated people is recorded among urban population. There were 312 persons having higher education per 1,000 urban population aged 10 and older. The majority of those having higher education live in Vilnius (426 per 1,000 population aged 10 and older), Neringa (377), Kaunas (357), Birštonas (338), Trakai (336), Palanga (326).
The largest proportion of the population having upper secondary education or higher was recorded in Vilnius city (81.3 per cent of total population aged 10 and older), Neringa (81.1 per cent), Kaunas city (80.2 per cent), Visaginas (80 per cent), Palanga town (79.1 per cent), Klaipėda city (77.3 per cent), Kaunas district (77.1 per cent), and Birštonas (77 per cent) municipalities.
In terms of the largest ethnic minorities, the Jewish people has a higher level of education. There were 496 persons having higher education per 1,000 Jewish persons aged 10 and older, 352 – Armenian persons, 287 – Ukrainian persons, 278 – Lithuanian persons.
The proportion (74.1 per cent) of Lithuanian persons having upper secondary education or higher was close to the national education average (74.5 per cent). This indicator was exceeded by the largest ethnic minorities: Ukrainian (84.1 per cent), Belorussian (80.1 per cent), Russian (79.6 per cent) persons. Upper secondary education was mostly attained by Polish persons (39.6 per cent). In terms of education, the Roma people stands out: 46.8 per cent had primary education, 23 per cent – lower secondary.
More information on the issue is available in the Database of Indicators.