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Diagram of the education system

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  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • > Notes on the education system in Estonia
    Education system in Estonia

    Estonia
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2018)
  • Almost half (48%) of teachers in Estonia are over the age of 50 in primary to upper secondary education, and the overwhelmingly majority of them are women, except at the tertiary level.
  • Except at pre-primary level, Estonia is among OECD and partner countries having the lowest number of teaching hours per year. Nonetheless, teachers' workloads are similar to other OECD countries, as most of teachers' working time is allocated to their responsibilities besides teaching.
  • Despite a recent large increase, teachers' actual salaries remain among the lowest across OECD countries.
  • More women attain tertiary education than men in Estonia but tertiary-educated men find employment more easily than women. Both of these gender gaps have persisted in the last decade.
  • Estonia has one of the highest levels of expenditure on early childhood education as a share of GDP but a lower level of expenditure on primary to tertiary education than on average across OECD countries.
  • Unlike in most OECD countries, parental educational attainment does not affect their children's participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC): children under 3 without tertiary-educated mothers are as likely to participate in ECEC as those with tertiary-educated ones.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Educational outcomes

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (88.7 %, rank 8/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of below upper secondary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11.3 %, rank 38/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (36.4 %, rank 8/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Estonia has one of the highest percentages of 25-64 year-olds whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (20.4 %, rank 4/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (37.7 %, rank 36/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate of 5-14 year-olds in Estonia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.6 %, rank 35/43 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among 15-19 year-olds in Estonia is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (88.8 %, rank 10/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, the number of expected years in education for men between ages 15 and 29 is comparatively low. (6 %, rank 33/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctorate or equivalent programmes in Estonia is one of the largest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (52.2 %, rank 7/40 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Intergenerational mobility

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults without upper secondary education among those whose parents have also not attained upper secondary education is comparatively low in Estonia. (18.9 %, rank 26/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education among those whose parents have not attained upper secondary education is comparatively high in Estonia. (26.3 %, rank 7/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education among those for whom at least one parent has also attained tertiary education is comparatively low in Estonia. (60.9 %, rank 21/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Estonia, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is relatively high. (8.9 %, rank 1/34 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in of the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (61.5 %, rank 4/33 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in of the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28 %, rank 9/33 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in of the field of health and welfare is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (85.5 %, rank 2/33 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of new female entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Estonia is relatively high. (28 %, rank 5/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of new female entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Estonia is relatively low. (10.9 %, rank 27/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of new male entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics ans statistics in Estonia is relatively high. (27.1 %, rank 9/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of new male entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Estonia is relatively low. (5.1 %, rank 27/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per primary student is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6327 USD Equivalent, rank 27/36 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student in post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7929 USD Equivalent, rank 11/18 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student for core and ancillary services, from primary to below-tertiary institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6663 USD Equivalent, rank 27/36 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, expenditure on pre-primary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively high. (1.2 %, rank 2/33 , 2014) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in expenditure on educational institutions (from primary to tertiary level) as a percentage of GDP, excluding subsidies, is among the smallest of all OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (91 Index, rank 25/31 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, expenditure on secondary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (1.4 %, rank 35/37 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, expenditure on tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively high. (1.8 %, rank 7/37 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively high. (1.3 %, rank 6/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP for tertiary education is comparatively high. (112.8 %, rank 3/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Estonia, expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP for primary to tertiary education is comparatively low. (87.9 %, rank 25/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Estonia. (585 Hours, rank 30/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year lower secondary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Estonia. (602 Hours, rank 28/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively small in Estonia. (568 Hours, rank 24/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially large. (220 Days, rank 5/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year pre-primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively large in Estonia. (1320 Hours, rank 6/26 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (99.4 %, rank 5/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (90.6 %, rank 9/43 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in lower secondary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (82.9 %, rank 2/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in upper secondary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (69.6 %, rank 7/40 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (49.1 %, rank 6/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (82.3 %, rank 3/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers aged between 30 and 49 is especially low. (43.2 %, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers older than 50 is especially high. (47.8 %, rank 3/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The ratio of pre-primary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.62 Ratio, rank 20/23 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The ratio of primary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.91 Ratio, rank 6/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The average actual pre-primary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15861 USD Equivalent, rank 24/25 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The average actual primary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23584 USD Equivalent, rank 23/28 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23584 USD Equivalent, rank 23/28 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The average actual upper secondary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23584 USD Equivalent, rank 24/28 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (65.4 %, rank 9/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with tertiary education and income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (68.9 %, rank 31/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (77.3 %, rank 7/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with tertiary education is compartively high in Estonia. (93.8 %, rank 5/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is compartively high in Estonia. (68.6 %, rank 6/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with tertiary education is compartively low in Estonia. (74.9 %, rank 35/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the earnings of adults without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of adults with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education. (90 Index, rank 4/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is quite low. (129 Index, rank 33/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds without an upper secondary education with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (61.6 %, rank 36/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with upper secondary education and income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (62.8 %, rank 37/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the lowest among countries with available data. (71.4 %, rank 35/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers without upper secondary education are comparatively high. (89 Index, rank 2/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with tertiary education are comparatively low. (127 Index, rank 35/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a short cycle tertiary education are comparatively low. (90 Index, rank 27/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a Bachelor's or equivalent education are comparatively low. (124 Index, rank 27/32 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a Master's, doctoral or equivalent education are comparatively low. (139 Index, rank 30/32 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Migrant background and education status

    The proportion of 55-64 year-olds who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (39.5 %, rank 9/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (64.1 %, rank 10/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (75.8 %, rank 23/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (65.5 %, rank 5/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full-time full-year earners with below upper secondary education are comparatively low. (74 Index, rank 17/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of foreign-born 15-29 year-olds in education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.3 %, rank 27/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of foreign-born 15-29 year-olds neither employed nor in education and training is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13.1 %, rank 20/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born 15-29 year-olds in education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (44.8 %, rank 22/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Governance

    The percentage of decisions taken at the central level of government for public lower secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (0 %, rank 27/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of decisions taken at the central level or state level of government for public lower secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (0 %, rank 15/16 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of decisions taken at the regional or sub-regional level of government for public lower secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (0 %, rank 7/16 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of decisions taken at the school level of for public lower secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (58.3 %, rank 5/34 , 2017) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • Adults without tertiary-educated parents face greater challenges to attain tertiary level themselves: Only 21% do compared to 68% among those with at least one tertiary-educated parent.
    • While there is little difference on average between the level of tertiary attainment among native-born and foreign-born adults, there are large variations across countries. In Mexico the tertiary attainment of foreign-born adults is more than double that of native-born. In contrast, native-born adults in Slovenia are almost twice more likely to have attained tertiary education than their foreign-born peers.
    • The gender gap favors girls in education but men in the labour market: 50% of 25-34 year-old women attained tertiary education in 2017 compared to 38% of men. However the employment rate of tertiary-educated young women is about 9 percentage points less than for men and they earn only 74% as much as men with similar educational attainment on average across OECD countries.
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    • In 2015, OECD countries spent on average around 5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on educational institutions from primary to tertiary levels , with variations across countries from 3.1% in the Russian Federation to 6.4% in Norway.
    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 391 a year on educational institutions to educate each student from primary to tertiary education. This represents about USD 8 600 per student at primary level, USD 9 900 at secondary level and USD 15 500 at tertiary level.
    • Primary and secondary education accounts for almost 70% of total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions, or around 3.5% of GDP, on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2015, public funding represented more than 80% of total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions across the OECD countries, varying from 62% in Colombia to 99% in Norway. However only two thirds of total expenditure is financed through public sources on tertiary institutions on average across OECD countries.
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    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • While the teaching profession is dominated by women, the share of female teachers decreases with the level of education taught: almost all teachers at the pre-primary level are women; however they make up less than half of the teaching force at tertiary level.
    • On average across OECD countries, statutory salaries of teachers at the top of their salary scales (and maximum qualifications) are between 77% and 81% higher than starting salaries (with minimum qualifications).
    • Teachers’ actual salaries at pre-primary, primary and general secondary levels of education are 82% to 96% of earnings of tertiary-educated workers on average across OECD countries.
    • While the average actual salary of primary and secondary female teachers is equal to or higher than the average earnings of full-time, tertiary-educated working women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 77% and 88% of the average earnings of full-time, tertiary-educated working men.
    • Based on official regulations, public school teachers in OECD countries and economies are required to teach on average 1 030 hours per year at pre-primary level, 771 hours at primary level, 693 hours at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 646 hours at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • On average across OECD countries, there are 15 students per teacher in primary education, 13 students per teacher in secondary education and 15 students per teacher in tertiary education.
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    • On average across OECD countries, 75% of children aged 3 are enrolled in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).
    • At age 4, on average across OECD countries, almost 88% of children are enrolled in pre-primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2015 on average across OECD countries.
    • Public funds represent a higher share of total expenditure at pre-primary level than on early childhood development programmes.
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    • The share of first-time upper secondary graduates with a vocational qualification varied from 6% in Canada to 78% in Austria in 2016 with an average of 41% across OECD countries.
    • In 2016, across OECD countries, teaching hours for upper secondary, general programmes vary greatly from 405 hours in Denmark to 1064 hours in Chile with an average of 655 hours.
    • In 2016, the ratio of students to teaching staff in public upper secondary educational institutions across OECD countries varies from 9 in Portugal to 22 in Mexico with an average of 13 across OECD countries.
    • The employment rate for adults with upper secondary education is 18 percentage points higher than for those without. The employment advantage varies from 6 percentage points in Mexico to more than 30 percentage points in the Czech and Slovak Republics.
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    • Between 2007 and 2017, the share of tertiary-educated young adults increased by 10 percentage points on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2015, OECD countries spent on average around 1.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on tertiary educational institutions, ranging from 0.5% in Luxembourg to 2.6% in the United States.
    • On average in OECD countries, 59% of young adults will enter a bachelor’s degree or equivalent programme in their lifetime while 24% are expected to enter a master’s or equivalent programme.
    • While there are large variations across countries, international and foreign students account for 6% of total enrolment in tertiary programmes and reach more than a quarter of enrolments at doctoral level on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults are more likely to be employed and earn about 55% more than those with upper secondary education on average across OECD countries.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Estonia

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2017 for more details about the data collections.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.