Educational level of women on the rise in Québec in university and professional levels

Québec, February 12, 2014 – Since the early 2000s, women in Québec aged 25 to 64 are more likely than their male counterparts to have a university education. In 2012, 32% of women had a university degree compared to 27% of men. In addition, women are less likely to be under-educated. Only 12% of women have not graduated from high school, compared with 15% of men. Although they remain under-represented among graduates of professional occupations, the percentage of women in this educational level has gone from 7% to 15% between 1990 and 2012.

Montréal ranks first for number of university graduates

The educational portrait of Québec’s administrative regions reveals large disparities. Gaspésie−Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Côte-Nord and Nord-du-Québec, Centre-du-Québec and Abitibi-Témiscamingue still displayed in 2012 a particularly high percentage of their population (aged 25-64) that were without a diploma (between 22% and 25%), despite significant progress in the last twenty years. In contrast, in Montréal, Laval and the Capitale-Nationale, less than 10% of the population is without a degree.

The gap between these regions is also evident regarding university graduates. Residents of Montréal, Laval and the Capitale-Nationale successfully earned a university degree in proportions of 47%, 38% and 34% respectively, whereas for all other regions, these figures remained between 13% and 28%. With nearly half of its population having earned a university degree, Montréal is in a class of its own. This can be explained by the strong presence of university institutions on its territory, the influx of highly educated immigrants and the specific structure of Montréal’s economy.

These data are taken from a special compilation of the Labour Force Survey produced by Statistics Canada. They are the subject of a more detailed analysis in the publication Coup d’œil sociodémographique and in tables available in the Education section on the Institut de la statistique du Québec website.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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