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Diagram of the education system

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  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • Education system in Spain

    Spain
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2019)
  • In Spain despite having high unemployment rates regardless of the level of education, the risk of unemployment decreases sharply with the level of educational attainment: unemployment rate of 21% for adults without upper secondary education, 14% for those with upper secondary education, and 8% for adults with tertiary education.
  • From 2005 to 2017, the first-time graduation rate for upper secondary education has sharply increased: from 56% to 81%, getting closer to the OECD and EU23 averages which were both 86%.
  • About 97% of children from age 3 to 5 are enrolled in early childhood education, compared to 87% on average across OECD countries. Enrolment among children under the age of 3 was 36% (higher than OECD average of 26% and EU23 average of 23%) in 2017.
  • Tertiary-educated women earn 82% of the earnings of tertiary-educated men, compared to 75% of the OECD average or to 76% of EU23 average, showing a smaller gender gap in Spain.
  • Spain spends 3.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on primary and secondary education, compared to 3.5% for the OECD average. Total expenditure per full-time student relative to GDP per capita is on a par with the OECD and EU23 averages of 23%.
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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 proportion of 25-64 year-old men who have attained a vocational degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9 %, rank 28/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from vocational programmes in Spain is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (25.5 Years, rank 9/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Attainment by field of education

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of humanities (except languages), social sciences, journalism and information is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (5.4 %, rank 26/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of business, administration and law is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (27.2 %, rank 9/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (6.3 %, rank 4/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The proportion of 25-64 years-old adults with below upper secondary education participating in formal education is low in Spain. (2.8 %, rank 16/24 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 years-old adults with tertiary education participating in formal education is high in Spain. (17.7 %, rank 9/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Among adults (25-64 years-old) with tertiary education, a low participate in non-formal education. (57 %, rank 28/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation rate of 25-64 year-olds in job-related non-formal education sponsored by the employer is low in Spain, compared to other countries with available data. (66.4 %, rank 26/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation rate of 25-64 year-olds in job-related non-formal education not sponsored by the employer is high in Spain, compared to other countries with available data. (13.1 %, rank 6/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation rate of 25-64 year-olds in not job-related non-formal education is high in Spain, compared to other countries with available data. (19.8 %, rank 10/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in Spain is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.3 %, rank 8/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the share of part-time students in bachelor's programmes is relatively large. (28.7 %, rank 8/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of part-time students in doctoral programmes in Spain is relatively small. (0 %, rank 23/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the proportion of new female entrants into master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is relatively high. (66.7 %, rank 4/24 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    The percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from a doctoral or equivalent programme in Spain ranks as one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3 %, rank 4/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from post-secondary non-tertiary education during their lifetime is one of the lowest among countries with available data. (3 %, rank 19/22 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates among post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes in Spain is relatively high. (60.3 %, rank 9/25 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18.9 %, rank 39/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of arts and humaties in Spain is relatively large. (16.2 %, rank 4/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Spain is relatively large. (28.8 %, rank 10/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Spain is relatively small. (8.3 %, rank 39/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18 %, rank 29/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of arts and humanities is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (57.8 %, rank 29/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11.2 %, rank 32/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In Spain, international students from Latin America and the Caribbean are most represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (46.3 %, rank 7/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, international students from Asia are least represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.9 %, rank 36/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the proportion of new international entrants into master's long first degreee (LFD) programmes is relatively high. (12.3 %, rank 9/20 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of arts and humanities in Spain is relatively low. (8.5 %, rank 30/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Spain is relatively low. (2.2 %, rank 32/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of arts and humanities is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (2.5 %, rank 33/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    In Spain, compulsory instruction time for lower secondary students, in hours per year, is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1054 Hours, rank 5/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively large in Spain. (27 Students, rank 3/32 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    The share of private expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13.6 %, rank 9/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Spain, total public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively low. (8.6 %, rank 30/38 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Change in public expenditure on educational institutions for primary to tertiary education between 2010 and 2016 in Spain is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (-7.5 %, rank 26/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in early childhood and primary education is one of the highest in Spain compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (24 USD Equivalent, rank 8/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Tuition fees

    In Spain, the percentage of students who do not benefit from public/government-guaranteed private loans or public scholarships/grants is comparatively high. (56.2 %, rank 5/14 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially low. (176 Days, rank 26/28 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in lower secondary school is especially low. (176 Days, rank 27/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in upper secondary school is especially low. (171 Days, rank 30/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of students per teacher in tertiary institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (12.4 Ratio, rank 24/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff in short-cycle tertiary programmes is comparatively low in Spain. (10.9 Ratio, rank 14/18 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the ratio of students to teaching staff in bachelor's and tertiary advanced research programmes is one of the lowest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (12.79 Ratio, rank 18/23 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.7 %, rank 36/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.7 %, rank 25/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of lower secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (3.3 %, rank 30/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (2.8 %, rank 31/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (5.4 %, rank 29/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    After 15 years of experience, a lower secondary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (52506 USD Equivalent, rank 10/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    The salary progression from the start to the top of the salary scale for a lower secondary school teacher is among the least rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.42 Ratio, rank 25/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for teachers with minimum training in primary education are especially high. (40813 USD Equivalent, rank 8/37 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for lower secondary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (45509 USD Equivalent, rank 5/37 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Salaries of lower secondary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (49340 USD Equivalent, rank 9/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    It takes lower secondary teachers longer to progress through the salary scale in Spain compared to other OECD and partner countries. (39 Years, rank 2/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (84.1 %, rank 37/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (88.6 %, rank 33/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (69.4 %, rank 33/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64 with tertiary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for at least 12 months is one of the largest in Spain, compared to OECD countries. (40 %, rank 10/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with below upper secondary education is low in Spain. (15.9 %, rank 40/42 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education and income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (82.2 %, rank 4/37 , 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 highest among countries with available data. (88.2 %, rank 6/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (102 Index, rank 25/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Migrant background

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old foreign-born people who have attained tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (27.1 %, rank 25/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The employment rate of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (71.4 %, rank 28/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The employment rate of native-born aged between 25-64 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (82.3 %, rank 25/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The employment rate of native-born aged between 25 and 34 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (70.9 %, rank 25/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time without upper secondary or post-secondary education are comparatively low. (76 Index, rank 19/21 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born aged between 25 and 64 who attained upper secondary or post-secondary non tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20.8 %, rank 28/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full-time full-year without upper secondary education are low compared to those of native-born workers with the same characteristics (72 Index, rank 19/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time with tertiary education are low compared to those of native-born with the same characteristics. (70 Index, rank 20/21 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full-time full-year with tertiary education are low compared to those of native-born with the same characteristics. (74 Index, rank 18/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time workers with upper secondary or post-secondary non tertiary education are low compared to those of native-born with the same characteristics. (60 Index, rank 21/21 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full-time full-year with upper secondary or post-secondary non tertiary education are low compared to those of native-born with the same characteristics. (63 Index, rank 19/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of foreign-born aged between 15 and 29 who are neither employed nor in education and training is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (30.4 %, rank 3/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of foreign-born aged between 15 and 29 and who are not in education and employed is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (33.6 %, rank 28/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born aged between 15 and 29 who are not in education and employed is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28 %, rank 28/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born 15-29 year-olds neither employed nor in education and training is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.7 %, rank 6/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born 15-29 year-olds not in education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45.7 %, rank 25/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Social outcomes

    In Spain, a small share of adults (25-64 years-old) with below upper secondary education participated in formal voluntary activities in the 12 months prior to the survey. (7.3 %, rank 21/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Spain, a small share of adults (25-64 years-old) with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education participated in formal voluntary activities in the 12 months prior to the survey. (10.7 %, rank 25/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Spain, a small share of adults (25-64 years-old) with tertiary education participated in formal voluntary activities in the 12 months prior to the survey. (16.3 %, rank 25/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among 25-64 years-old adults with below upper secondary education, a high proportion have someone to ask for moral, material or financial help. (95.2 %, rank 3/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among 25-64 years-old adults with tertiary education, a high proportion have someone to ask for moral, material or financial help. (98.4 %, rank 8/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed adults (25-64 years-old) with below upper secondary education, a large share have difficulties to fulfill their family responsabilities because of their jobs, compared to other countries with available data. (45.4 %, rank 8/18 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The proportion of employed adults (25-64 years-old) with below upper secondary education who have concentration difficulties at work because of family responsabilities is low in Spain. (21.7 %, rank 14/18 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Weekly working hours among employed 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education are short in Spain compared to other OECD countries. (37.7 Hours/week, rank 25/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education, a small share have high flexibility of working hours. (19.4 %, rank 24/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education, a small share have high flexibility of working hours. (20.9 %, rank 24/28 , 2015) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • In 2018, 44% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 35% in 2008, on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults also reap higher earnings, although this varies by field of study. Their advantage increases with age too: 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education earn 38% more than their peers with upper secondary education while 45-54 year-olds earn 70% more.
    • While engineering, manufacturing and construction, and information and communication technologies are two fields most commonly associated with the best labour market outcomes, only 14% of graduates earned a degree in the former and 4% earned a degree in the latter in 2017.
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    • Although graduation from upper secondary education increased by 6 percentage points between 2005 and 2017, 15% of 25-34 year-olds did not attain upper secondary education in 2018, on average across OECD countries.
    • In some countries, vocational programmes are prominent at the upper secondary level. On average across OECD countries, 40% of first-time upper secondary graduates earned a vocational qualification in 2017; in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, more than 66% of this population did.
    • At the lower secondary level, the average class shrank by 6% while teachers’ statutory salaries increased by 8% between 2005 and 2017, on average across OECD countries.
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    • In 2017, more than one in three children under the age of three were enrolled in early childhood education and care services, on average across OECD countries - an increase of 7 percentage points compared to 2010.
    • Between the age of 3 to 5, on average across OECD countries, 87% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2016 on average across OECD countries. However, as a share of GDP, expenditure on early childhood development is lower.
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    • In 2016, expenditure per tertiary student amounted to USD 15 556, approximately one-third of which was devoted to research and development.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at the tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
    • OECD countries spent an average of 3.5% of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary institutions in 2016, and public expenditure at this level increased by 18% since 2005.
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    • About 10% of primary and secondary teachers are under the age of 30, on average across OECD countries.
    • 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.
    • Salaries tend to increase with the level of education taught, but teachers' earnings remain between 78% and 93% of the earnings of other tertiary-educated adults.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Spain

    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 2019 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.