23.May .2022 21:00

Continued decline in early school leavers in the EU

Continued decline in early school leavers in the EU
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The share of 'early school leavers,’ a term that refers to early leavers from education and training (aged 18-24), has steadily decreased in the EU over the last 10 years, from 13% in 2011 to 10% in 2021.

More young men left education and training early than women in 2021 - 11% of men compared to 8% of women. Compared with 2020, both the share of male early school leavers and female early school leavers decreased slightly (by 0.4 and 0.1 percentage points (pp), respectively), Eurostat reports.

The EU Member States have set themselves a target to reduce the rates of early school leavers to below 9% at the EU level by 2030.

Compared with 2011 nearly all EU Member States reported a smaller proportion of early leavers in 2021, except for Luxembourg, Slovakia, Sweden, Czechia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Germany, which all reported a small increase (below 3 pp).

Lowest share of 'early school leavers' in Croatia, highest in Romania

In 2021, the Member States that reported the lowest shares of early leavers from education and training were Croatia (2%), Slovenia, Greece and Ireland (all 3%) and Lithuania and the Netherlands (5%).

In contrast, the highest shares were recorded in Romania (15%), Spain and Italy (both 13%), and Bulgaria, Hungary and Germany (12%).

Sixteen Member States have already met the EU-level target for 2030 for this indicator: Belgium, Czechia, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.

In 2021, the share of early leavers from education and training was lower for young women than for young men across all EU Member States apart from Bulgaria and Romania.