July 1, 2023 – Data from the 2021 census show a significant increase in the share of the population with completed higher education in Croatia compared to previous censuses. Women dominate in all age groups, except for the age group over 60, in which there is a larger share of men, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics reported.
As Index writes, the city of Zagreb (39.1 percent), Primorje-Gorski Kotar (28.1 percent) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (26.8 percent) lead the way with the largest overall share of the population with higher education in 2021. On the other hand, the smallest share of the population with higher education is in Virovitica-Podravska County (13.1 percent), Bjelovar-Bilogora County (14.5 percent) and Brod-Posavina County (14.9 percent).
Comparing the number of the highly educated population with previous censuses, the data show a continuous increase in the share of the highly educated population in Croatia every ten years. The share of the highly educated population in the total population was only 1.8 percent in 1961, while in 2021 it was 24.1 percent, according to the CBS.
A Leap in Higher Education in Croatia
Compared to 2011, the share of the population with completed higher education is 7.7 percentage points higher. There are fewer and fewer people without school and with lower education. In the comparison of the final data of the 2021 Census on the composition of the population of Croatia according to the highest completed education level with previous censuses, a significant decrease in the share of the population with no school education and with lower education is visible, with a simultaneous increase in the share of the population with completed high school and higher education.
Thus, in 2021, of the total population aged 15 and over, 20.4 percent of the population completed primary school education or less, which is 10.4 percentage points less compared to 2011 and 65.2 percentage points less compared to 1961, when such education reflected more than 85 percent of the population.
In the period between 1961 and 2021, the share of the population with a high school diploma increased from 12.6 percent to 55.5 percent, and in 2021, compared to 2011, there was a visible increase in the share of the population with a high school diploma by 2.9 percentage points, CBS reported.