6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2016   
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29 November 2016
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

More Australians are studying

More people are studying than ever before, with one in five Australians aged 15 to 64 enrolled in a course in 2016, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"In May of this year, it is estimated that more than three million people in that age range were engaged in some form of study, from school education through to university degrees," said Michelle Marquardt, Program Manager of Education, Crime and Culture branch at the ABS.

The proportion of people studying has increased for all age groups and both sexes over the last 10 years.

"Among young women aged 15 to 24 years, the proportion studying rose from 56 per cent in 2006 to 64 per cent in 2016, while for young men the proportion increased from 55 per cent to 61 per cent," said Ms Marquardt.

"For people aged 25 to 64 years the proportion of women studying grew from 7.9 per cent to 10.5 per cent in the last decade, with a moderate increase for men from 5.7 per cent to 7.2 per cent over the same period."

There were approximately 2.3 million people enrolled in a non-school qualification in 2016.

Similar proportions of men (42 per cent) and women (41 per cent) were undertaking bachelor degrees. More men (22 per cent) than women (16 per cent) were studying for a Certificate III and IV, while more women were studying for an Advanced Diploma or Diploma (17 per cent compared to 12 per cent).

Ms Marquardt noted that there were striking differences between women and men in the subjects they are studying.

"Women were more likely than men to study health (19 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively) and society and culture (26 per cent and 15 per cent respectively) while men were over 12 times as likely as women to study engineering (18 per cent compared to 1.4 per cent)."

Further details are available in Education and Work, Australia, May 2016 (cat. no. 6227.0), available for free download from the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au.

Media Note:
  • Unless otherwise specified the age scope for the data is 15 to 64 years.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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