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4,661,603 people in Australia had a tertiary qualification in 2011.

Educational Qualifications relate to education outside of primary and secondary school and are one of the most important indicators of socio-economic status. With other data sources, such as Employment Status, Income and Occupation, Australia's Educational Qualifications help to evaluate the economic opportunities and socio-economic status of the area and identify skill gaps in the labour market.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the level of the highest qualification the person has completed?'

Persons aged 15 years and over

Highest qualification achieved
Australia - Persons aged 15+ (Usual residence)20112006Change
Qualification levelNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Bachelor or Higher degree3,268,68118.822.12,482,30615.618.3+786,375
Advanced Diploma or Diploma1,392,9228.08.61,130,4657.17.7+262,457
Vocational3,134,57818.116.32,662,77816.715.5+471,800
No qualification7,659,62444.142.47,556,26647.545.5+103,358
Not stated1,905,35511.010.62,086,26613.113.1-180,911

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Highest qualification achieved, 2011
Highest qualification achieved, 2011 Not stated, Greater Capital Cities: 10.6% No qualification, Greater Capital Cities: 42.4% Vocational, Greater Capital Cities: 16.3% Advanced Diploma or Diploma, Greater Capital Cities: 8.6% Bachelor or Higher degree, Greater Capital Cities: 22.1% Not stated, Australia: 11.0% No qualification, Australia: 44.1% Vocational, Australia: 18.1% Advanced Diploma or Diploma, Australia: 8.0% Bachelor or Higher degree, Australia: 18.8%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in highest qualification achieved, 2006 to 2011
Change in highest qualification achieved, 2006 to 2011 Not stated, Australia: -180,911 No qualification, Australia: +103,358 Vocational, Australia: +471,800 Advanced Diploma or Diploma, Australia: +262,457 Bachelor or Higher degree, Australia: +786,375
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the qualifications of the population in Australia in 2011 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a lower proportion of people holding formal qualifications (Bachelor or higher degree; Advanced Diploma or Diploma; or Vocational qualifications), and a higher proportion of people with no formal qualifications.

Overall, 44.9% of the population aged 15 and over held educational qualifications, and 44.1% had no qualifications, compared with 47.1% and 42.4% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The major differences between qualifications held by the population of Australia and Greater Capital Cities were:

  • A larger percentage of persons with No qualifications (44.1% compared to 42.4%)
  • A larger percentage of persons with Vocational qualifications (18.1% compared to 16.3%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons with Bachelor or Higher degrees (18.8% compared to 22.1%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the qualifications of the population in Australia between 2006 and 2011 were in those with:

  • Bachelor or Higher degrees (+786,375 persons)
  • Vocational qualifications (+471,800 persons)
  • Advanced Diploma or Diplomas (+262,457 persons)
  • No qualifications (+103,358 persons)
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