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28. How many young people leave education and training too early?

Indicator 3010: early leavers from education and training
Figure 28 Early leavers from education and training (%)

Reducing the EU average share of early leavers from education and training to below 10% of young people (18-24 year-olds) is one of the specific objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Reducing early leaving will make young people better equipped with knowledge and skills for facing the future, including their transition from initial education and training to the labour market.

The ‘early leavers from education and training’ indicator is defined as the percentage of the population aged 18-24 who have attained, at most, lower secondary level education (ISCED 0-2) and who are not involved in further education or training.

Figure 28: Early leavers from education and training (%)

Source: Eurostat, EU labour force survey.

Key points

In 2010, early leavers from education and training accounted for 13.9% of the population aged 18-24 in the EU. Data for 2016 showed a drop to 10.7%: a remaining gap of 0.7 percentage points has to be bridged by 2020 to meet the target established for the EU average. Lithuania, Slovenia, Poland, and Luxembourg had the lowest levels of early leaving from education and training in 2016 (all below 6.0%). Malta, Spain, and Romania had relatively high shares of early leavers from education and training (above 15.0%).

Many countries have their own national target, sometimes more ambitious than the overall Europe 2020 target, in other case less so. By 2016, fourteen countries had reached their national target (Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia, Finland, and Sweden).

The favourable overall change in the EU (a drop by 3.2 percentage points between 2010 and 2016) can be observed in many Member States. In recent years, however early leaving from education and training has increased in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Sweden.

Among non-EU countries, early leaving from education and training in 2016 was highest in Turkey (at 34.3%) and lowest in Switzerland (at 4.8%).

Table 28: Early leavers from education and training (%)

Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative trend based on more than two data points and of magnitude 0.1 per year or more. Trends based on more than two data points but of smaller magnitude are indicated by →; trends based on two points only are marked ▪. Trends are estimated by means of regression models.
The 2014 “b” flags in the Eurostat online tables have been ignored, except for Austria, on the basis of other relevant Eurostat metadata.
(b) Break after 2010. Therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: "low reliability". (z) Eurostat: "not applicable". (e) Eurostat: "estimated".
(T) ES: target 15% (school dropouts).

Source: Eurostat, EU labour force survey.

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Annex 1: short description of indicators and additional notes

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Annex 2: Reading the indicator statistical overviews

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Statistics and graphs Details

01/02/2018