Alberta is one of the most educated places in the world
55 per cent of Albertans aged 25 to 64 have completed a post-secondary program
By ATB Economics 23 March 2021 2 min read
Education and the economy go hand in hand in all sorts of ways. Individual economic success is, for example, strongly correlated with education level. Similarly, an educated labour force provides an economy with a competitive edge.
The quality of education available is key, so tracking the amount of education people have is somewhat limited in what it can tell us. Still, educational attainment statistics are readily available, show change over time and enable us to compare jurisdictions.
A new report from Statistics Canada, provides the latest data on educational attainment by province. The provincial data can also be compared to average educational attainment across the 37 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In this regard, Alberta does quite well. As of 2020, 55 per cent of Albertans aged 25 to 64 have completed a post-secondary (a.k.a. tertiary) program.
This is lower than the Canadian average of 60 per cent, but higher than the OECD average of 38 per cent (data for the OECD are for 2019). Ontario leads the pack in Canada at 66 per cent.
Just 20 years ago, the proportion of Albertans aged 25 to 64 with a post-secondary credential was 37 per cent, for an 18 percentage point jump since 2000.
Most of this growth has been at the university level. The proportion of Albertans aged 25 to 64 with a Bachelor’s degree went from 13 to 23 per cent and the proportion with a Master’s degree or higher went from 5 per cent to 10 per cent.
Over the same period and for the same age group, the proportion of Albertans who did not complete high school went from 15 per cent in 2000 to 7 per cent in 2020.
The rising share of Albertans with post-secondary education is encouraging, but we can’t rest on our laurels with the good jobs of the future demanding even more from workers in terms of their knowledge and skills.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Where is a good place to find a giant Easter egg in Alberta? Vegreville has a huge Easter egg statue.
Today’s trivia question: Which two provinces are tied with the highest proportion of their population aged 25-64 with at least a high school level education?