The educational level of Spain has doubled in 50 years

To what extent does education contribute to the development of a country? This has been the objective of a study carried out by the BBVA Reseach and the Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA), which analyzed the evolution between 1960 and 2011 of the educational level of the population over 25 years old in 22 of the 34 OECD countries, including Spain and its autonomous communities.

The important advance of Spain in Education

Spain has advanced a lot in years of schooling, since in 50 years the educational level of the population has doubled. While in 1960, the average number of years of schooling of the adult population it did not reach five years, in990 went up to 6.7 years and in 2000 it was something more than eight years. In 2011, with the latest data available, it reached 9.79 years. In short, it is a very positive fact to have achieved a doubling of the educational level in half a century. In addition, illiteracy has practically disappeared, while the fraction of the population with higher education continues to increase very significantly in Spain.


However, despite the effort made, we can not catch up with other OECD countries, since our neighbors have also improved. In comparison with them and during the last five decades we have not left the last positions. So, in general, the adult Spanish population has remained in school almost 10 years of their life, on average, compared to the nearly 12 years that have passed the inhabitants of other OECD countries, which places us penultimate in a list of 22 countries, only ahead of Portugal. This work has been carried out mainly from census data and counts the period of training between Primary and University.


A greater education, greater wealth

Researchers have calculated that each year of additional schooling increases average productivity by 10%, which represents approximately 30% more income per capita and represents six points less in the unemployment rate. The scarce formation that the Spanish adults have is, according to the researchers of the study, the main obstacle with which Spain has been loading for decades and that suppose a brake to our economy.

And is that the influence of educational level in the economy is the second major conclusion of the study. Thus, the regions with the highest educational level are also the most productive and those that "show the lowest unemployment rates". "The educational differences explain a good part of the differences in productivity, occupation and, therefore, income between regions," the study adds. "The accumulation of human capital has been one of the great engines of income growth."


Having work is also associated with a greater number of education and a higher standard of living.
And is that despite the destruction of employment that has occurred during the crisis, the employment of people with university studies has increased during this time.

Madrid, the community with the highest educational level

The study also records a third major conclusion internally. The Community of Madrid has almost 11 years of average training among its inhabitants, the Basque Country reaches 10.30 years of training, Navarre at 10.18 years and Catalonia at 9.96. These are the Autonomous Communities that obtain the best results. In the tail are Extremadura with 8.60 years of training, Castilla-La Mancha with 8.85 years, Murcia with 9.12 years and Andalusia with 9.15. The north and Madrid, in short, are above the average educational level or their environment, while the south and the Levant do below the national average.

Marisol New

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