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Italians among the least educated in Europe, says report

Education spending-to-GDP at 4.2%, against 5.3% in EU

11 February, 15:23
Italians among the least educated in Europe, says report (ANSA) - Rome, February 11 - As of 2012, just 21.7% of Italians aged 30-34 earned a university degree, which is a far cry from the EU objective of 40% by 2020, a new report by national statistics bureau Istat showed Tuesday.

Also in Italy, more than two million people aged 15-29, or 23.9% of the population, are neither working or studying, and 17.6% of students aged 18-24 dropped out before obtaining a high school diploma (against an EU average of 12.8%), with a peak of 21.1% in the south.

Italy also has the fourth-highest European percentage, or 43.1%, of people aged 25-64 with just a high school education, preceded only by Portugal, Malta and Spain, and against an EU-27 average of 25.8%.

The Bel Paese lags in terms of its education spending-to-GDP ratio too. Italy's is 4.2%, against an EU-27 average of 5.3%, the Istat report said.

Among foreign residents aged 15-64, the Istat data showed that 49.8% completed junior high school (against 44.1% of Italians), 40.5% graduated from high school (against 41.7% of locals) and 9.7% have a university degree (against 14.3% of the indigenous population).

While foreign and Italian women have similar educational levels, more foreign men completed junior high school than their Italian counterparts (54.5% against 45.5%). The reverse is true for university graduates (6.8% of foreign men against 12.6% of Italian men).