Census reveals rise in proportion with higher qualifications
More than a quarter of England and Wales' adult population has a higher education qualification, although a North-South divide prevails, the 2011 census has revealed.
Published today, the census shows that 27 per cent of England's over 16-year-olds are educated to level 4 standard, which covers bachelor's degrees or their equivalent and higher qualifications. This is up from 20 per cent in 2001. In Wales, the figure also rose seven percentage points, from 17 per cent to 24 per cent.
Across both England and Wales, 12.4 million residents aged 16 and over had achieved a qualification of level 4 or above in 2011, also representing 27 per cent of respondents. This was a higher percentage than those who said they had "no qualifications" (23 per cent).
However, in Wales alone, the most popular level of educational achievement was "no qualifications", with 26 per cent falling into this category.
Regionally, London reported the highest levels of people holding advanced qualifications, with 38 per cent of usual residents holding at least a level 4 qualification, and 18 per cent of respondents saying they had no qualifications.
Away from the capital, the highest percentage of level 4 attainment was 30 per cent in the South East, with the lowest percentage found in the North East at 22 per cent. When London is included, there is a difference of 16 percentage points between the highest and lowest achieving areas.
According to the Office of National Statistics, which published the findings, increased levels of graduate employment opportunities in London and the South East may have contributed to the difference.