Top 10 Countries With The Largest Proportion of Highly Educated Women


Women play a key role in the overall development of countries around the world, therefore their education is in particular important for developing or improving a nation’s quality of life. Many influential women worldwide who have made history became a symbol of courage and motivation for other women across the world.

According to the Nation’s Gender Gap Report 2020, 88 percent of females worldwide had received primary education compared to 91 percent of men. But in terms of tertiary education, women were more tertiary-educated than men.

Erudera lists ten countries where women are highly educated based on data by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

1. Canada

Canada is recognized worldwide for its quality of education ranked among the very best in the world. Some of the top universities in the world are located in Canada.

What makes Canada more special when it comes to education is that a large proportion of women in the country complete tertiary education.

According to 2018 OECD data, 60 percent of women in Canada attained tertiary education.

2. Russia

Just behind Canada is ranked Russia with a large share of highly educated women.

© Social Income | Unsplash

Data show that around 60 percent of women in Russia have attained tertiary education during 2018; meanwhile, 95 percent of women in the country have attained at least upper secondary education, compared to around 90 percent of Russian male students receving the same level of education.

In 2017, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said that 37 percent of women in Russia had received a higher education degree.

There were more female employees in the Russian education sector compared to men in 2020, with 82 percent versus 79 percent.

3. Israel

Israel’s population is also well educated. The country ranks third according to OECD, just after Canada and Russia. When it comes to women’s education, over 40 percent of women in Israel receive tertiary education.

4. Finland

Finland is renowned for the best education system in the world. It has the highest percentage of high school completion worldwide, and the country is also ranked third in the Education Ranking by Countries in 2021, reaching a total score of 1.631K.

Data indicate that women in Finland are also well-educated, with almost 50 percent of women attaining tertiary education.

5. Japan

Japan is also among the countries recognized for its high-quality education system. Students from Japan have constantly ranked high among OECD students for quality and performance.

© Tianshu Liu | Unsplash

38 percent of women in Japan are tertiary-educated, according to OECD figures. Nonetheless, an annual report of OECD showed that in 2019, Japan had the lowest share of women pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

6. Iceland

Iceland ranks sixth in the list for well-educated women and it is worth mentioning that the country offers incredibly important study programs.

Overall, women in Iceland are more educated than men. According to data, 41 percent of women in the country have a tertiary education compared to about 30 percent of men being tertiary educated.

In 2016, Iceland was ranked the third most literate country worldwide.

7. Estonia

41 percent of Estonia’s adult population aged 25-64 years attained tertiary education in 2018, surpassing the OECD average of 39 percent.

More women in the country have completed tertiary education compared to men. In 2018, 38 percent of women in Estonia attained tertiary education.

Furthermore, the majority of teachers in the country are women, with 92 percent in primary education, 82 percent in lower secondary, and 78 percent in upper secondary in general.

8. Australia

With its student-focused education, Australia makes one of the best study environments for both domestic and international students.

Perth City, Western Australia
Photo by Nathan Hurst | Unsplash

Statista indicated that 50 percent of the Australian population has received a bachelor’s degree or above in 2021, an increase from 30 percent in 2020.

The participation of women in education is also growing in Australia. According to OECD, about 40 percent of women in Australia receive tertiary education.

9. Ireland

Ireland is also among the top countries with the best higher education system, ranked in the top twenty worldwide.

OECD data indicate that 56 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds in Ireland have completed higher or further education. Around 40 percent of women attained tertiary education in 2018.

Similar to Australia, around 40 percent of women in Ireland have attained tertiary education.

10. United States

The United States is renowned for its academic excellence, not only nationally but also globally. More than 4,000 colleges and universities in the US offer various courses and programs for students coming from different countries of the world.

In 2020, 38 percent of women in the United States completed four years of college, compared to male students, who in percentage stood at 36 percent back then.

Last year, a survey conducted by the non-profit organization, the National Student Clearinghouse, revealed that nearly 60 percent of students in the US colleges were women during the 2020/21 academic year, outnumbering men.

“This trend is especially visible in the community college sector, with male enrollment dropping by 14.4 percent compared to a 6 percent decline in female enrollment. Also, the increase of 44,000 female students (+1%) is contrasted with a drop of 90,000 male students (-2.7%) in the public four-year institution sector,” the report by the National Student Clearinghouse pointed out.

Data had shown that in spring 2021, about 59.5 percent of college students in the United States were women while 40.5 percent were men.

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