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2006 Census: Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census: National picture

No other OECD country had a higher proportion of its adult population with university or college attainment than Canada

Each year, the OECD provides an international comparison of levels of education in the working-age population. This comparison includes about 30 countries.

In 2006, Canada ranked sixth among all OECD countries in terms of the proportion of the population which had a university degree, tied with Australia and Korea, at 23%.

Table 3 Proportion of the population aged 25 to 64 with a university degree for the top 10 OECD countries

Norway and the United States of America led the way at 30% each, followed by the Netherlands (28%), Denmark and Iceland (26% each).

About 25% of Canada's working-age population had a college diploma or a certificate below bachelor level as their highest level of educational attainment. This represents the highest proportion of all OECD countries. However, the different systems for college education used by various countries make international comparisons more difficult.

In many countries, usually one form of education, either university or college, is highly prevalent. Canada offers two parallel systems of education after high school. Each requires a high school diploma for admission and each plays a key role in the development of knowledge and skills.

In the case where university and college are combined, no other OECD country had a higher proportion than Canada. Some 48% of Canada's population aged 25 to 64 had either a university or college education, compared with 40% in Japan, 39% in the United States of America and 35% in Finland.

Table 4 Proportion of the population aged 25 to 64 with a university or college education for the top 10 OECD countries

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