Nearly three in ten people (28.2%) who had ceased their full-time education in 2016 had a third level degree or higher. The highest proportion of people with at least a third level degree was in ‘Cities’ at 35.3%, followed by ‘Satellite urban towns’ at 31.7%. The lowest proportion was 18.3% in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’, (see Figure 7.1 and Table 7.1).
‘Upper secondary’ was the highest level of education for 27.5% of those who had ceased full-time education in 2016. This rate varied across the country, with the highest rate of 30.7% in ‘Independent urban towns’ and the lowest of 24.6% in ‘Cities’.
The proportion of people in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ with lower secondary education as their highest level of education dropped from 43.2% in 2011 to 37.7% in 2016, a drop of 5.5 percentage points.
The largest percentage point increase in a level of education was in ‘Cities’ for those with postgraduate attainment, which rose from 11.8% to 14.3% between 2011 and 2016.
|% with at least third level degree|
|Satellite urban towns||31.7|
|Independent urban towns||22|
|Rural areas with high urban influence||27.8|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence||21.5|
|Highly rural/remote areas||18.3|
|Table 7.1 Population usually resident and present, who have ceased full-time education by sex, highest level education attained and 6-way area classification, 2016|
|Cities||Satellite urban towns||Independent urban towns||Rural areas with high urban influence||Rural areas with moderate urban influence||Highly rural/remote areas||State|
|Third level non degree||Female||41,931||20,417||24,938||26,152||20,204||13,599||147,241|
|Third level degree||Female||113,120||41,292||43,100||51,605||35,593||22,582||307,292|
Women are more likely to be educated to at least degree level, with 30.8% having a third level degree or postgraduate qualification compared to 25.5% of men. This gap is strongest in ‘Rural areas with a moderate urban influence’, where 26.6% of women are educated to least degree level compared to 16.5% of men.
Conversely, men are more likely to be educated to at most lower secondary level, with 29.8% of men in this group compared to 24.9% of women. ‘Rural areas with a moderate urban influence’ has the largest gap, with 27.3% of women educated to a most lower secondary level compared to 39.0% of men.
|Postgraduate||Third level degree||Third level non-degree||Upper secondary||Lower seecondary||No formal/Primary||Not stated|
|Cities - 2016||14.3||21.1||9||24.6||12.3||11.1||7.7|
|Cities - 2011||11.8||19.4||8.7||26.7||14.6||13.9||5|
|Satellite urban towns - 2016||10.9||20.8||12.3||29.6||12.8||8.5||5.1|
|Satellite urban towns - 2011||8.8||18.7||11.6||31.6||14.9||10.4||3.9|
|Independent urban towns - 2016||6.7||15.3||10.6||30.7||15.8||13.9||7|
|Independent urban towns - 2011||5.8||13.9||10||31.4||17.4||16.2||5.3|
|Rural areas with high urban influence - 2016||9.1||18.7||12.8||27.9||15.5||11.4||4.6|
|Rural areas with high urban influence - 2011||7.1||16.3||12.1||29.3||17.7||13.9||3.7|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence - 2016||6.2||15.3||12.2||28.2||17.8||15.3||4.9|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence - 2011||4.7||12.9||11.1||28.7||20||18.6||3.9|
|Highly rural/remote areas - 2016||5.3||13||10.8||27.3||18.1||19.6||5.9|
|Highly rural/remote areas - 2011||4.1||11.1||9.7||27.2||19.8||23.4||4.6|
In the 2016 Census, there were 120,106 residents aged 19 to 22 years who were defined as students and for whom a valid Protected Identifier Key (PIK) was assigned, (see Appendix 1: Data Sources).
The largest number of students was in ‘Cities’ (38,696), while the smallest number was 11,090 from ‘Highly rural/remote areas’.
More than half of all people aged 19-22 were students in all the area types, except for ‘Independent urban towns’ where the proportion was 47.6%.
Note that these numbers include students present at their home address and students temporarily away at college on Census night.
|Proportion of students among age group|
|Satellite urban towns||54.7|
|Independent urban towns||47.6|
|Rural areas with high urban influence||64.8|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence||61.7|
|Highly rural/remote areas||58.9|
|Table 7.2 Student numbers and proportion among the age group 19-22, by area type, 2016|
|Area type||Number of students aged 19-22||% of students among overall age group 19-22|
|Satellite urban towns||13,962||54.7|
|Independent urban towns||15,943||47.6|
|Rural areas with high urban influence||23,265||64.8|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence||17,150||61.7|
|Highly rural/remote areas||11,090||58.9|
There were 49,243 students aged 19-22 who applied for a Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant, see Table 7.2, or 41.0% of all students. The proportion of students applying for a grant varied widely across the country with the highest proportion of 54.9% in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’, followed by 49.4% in ‘Independent urban towns’.
The lowest proportions of students applying for a grant was 33.2% in ‘Cities’ and 37.6% in ‘Satellite urban towns’.
|Proportion of students 19-22 that applied (%)|
|Satellite urban towns||37.6|
|Independent urban towns||49.4|
|Rural areas with high urban influence||38.6|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence||47.7|
|Highly rural/remote areas||54.9|
|Table 7.3 SUSI applications where the person aged 19-22 was identified as a student in the Census, academic year 2015/2016|
|Area type||Number of students aged 19-22 that applied||% of students aged 19-22 that applied|
|Satellite urban towns||5,250||37.6|
|Independent urban towns||7,876||49.4|
|Rural areas with high urban influence||8,980||38.6|
|Rural areas with moderate urban influence||8,181||47.7|
|Highly rural/remote areas||6,088||54.9|