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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 Japan

    Japan
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2019)
  • Japan has a well-developed tertiary education system. Over half of 25-64 year-olds had attained tertiary education in 2018, 13 percentage points higher than the OECD average. However, its students are rather homogenous – Japan has relatively low shares of adult and international students compared to OECD countries.
  • The Japanese government spent 7.8% of its total expenditure on primary to tertiary education in 2016, less than the OECD average. Public expenditure on education fell between 2010 and 2016, despite total government expenditure increasing in the same period.
  • Gender inequality in employment persists in Japan, including the education sector. Women make up the smallest share of secondary and tertiary teaching staff among OECD countries.
  • Although enrolment of children under the age of 3 in early childhood education and care (ECEC) increased from 19% in 2010 to 30% in 2017, it remains below the OECD average of 36%. In contrast, 91% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in ECEC in 2017, higher than the OECD average of 87%.
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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.

    Show indicators for which your country ranks among the top or bottom: Sort by:

    Educational outcomes

    In Japan, the percentage of 25-64 year-olds who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (30.7 %, rank 1/46 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of first-time graduates in vocational programmes at upper secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (22.6 %, rank 26/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    In Japan, the share of 25-64 year-old men who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (39 %, rank 1/46 , 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 Japan. (1.9 %, rank 21/24 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 years-old adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education participating in formal education is low in Japan. (2 %, rank 33/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 years-old adults with tertiary education participating in formal education is low in Japan. (3 %, rank 36/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Among adults (25-64 years-old) with tertiary education, a low participate in non-formal education. (54.7 %, rank 29/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, a low proportion of 25-64 year-old men participate in not job-related non-formal education. (8.3 %, rank 30/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctoral or equivalent programmes in Japan is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (31 %, rank 40/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the average age of new entrants into doctoral programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (25.8 Years, rank 36/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the average age of new entrants into master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19 Years, rank 22/22 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of tertiary students enrolled in private institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (78.8 %, rank 7/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of part-time students in short-cycle programmes is relatively small. (3.2 %, rank 21/26 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of part-time students in bachelor's programmes is relatively small. (9 %, rank 25/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of part-time students in master's programmes is relatively small. (6.8 %, rank 25/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the proportion of new female entrants into master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is relatively low. (48.5 %, rank 22/24 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    The percentage of today's young people expected to obtain a master's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (8.3 %, rank 29/38 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, the percentage of young people expected to obtain a master's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (7.4 %, rank 26/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Japan has one of the lowest percentages of young people expected to complete a doctorate or an equivalent education during their lifetime. (1 %, rank 21/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    In Japan, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (20.6 %, rank 43/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively low. (33.8 %, rank 39/41 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (15.5 %, rank 41/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15.1 %, rank 6/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    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. (20 %, rank 35/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.3 %, rank 35/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18.3 %, rank 8/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of sciences, journalism and information in Japan is relatively small. (2.9 %, rank 44/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law in Japan is relatively small. (4.2 %, rank 39/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Japan is relatively small. (14.2 %, rank 37/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Japan is relatively large. (22.6 %, rank 9/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of services is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.6 %, rank 28/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Japan, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is relatively low. (7.1 %, rank 31/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (3 %, rank 31/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (71.3 %, rank 30/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (46.1 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of business, administration and law is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (35.8 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (25.9 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (14.4 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.2 %, rank 32/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of female among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of education is relatively small. (48.9 %, rank 33/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of female among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively small. (17.6 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Japan is relatively small. (15.1 %, rank 33/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of female among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (32.1 %, rank 33/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    Japan is one of the most attractive destinations to foreign students compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.1 %, rank 8/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the number of international or foreign students per national student abroad is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5 Students, rank 8/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, international students from Asia are most represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.9 %, rank 1/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, international students from Europe are least represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.3 %, rank 42/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, international students from Africa are lowest represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.1 %, rank 40/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of education in Japan is relatively low. (1.5 %, rank 34/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of arts and humanities in Japan is relatively high. (26.3 %, rank 2/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information in Japan is relatively high. (42.8 %, rank 1/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertairy students enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Japan is relatively low. (1.9 %, rank 33/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Japan is relatively high. (19.5 %, rank 10/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Japan is relatively low. (2.6 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.6 %, rank 34/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.6 %, rank 34/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the percentage of international doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.3 %, rank 30/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    Classes in lower secondary public institutions are comparatively large in Japan. (32 Students, rank 2/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively large in Japan. (33 Students, rank 1/32 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per tertiary student is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19191 USD Equivalent, rank 8/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Japan, expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies. (4 %, rank 28/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, expenditure on secondary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (1.5 %, rank 30/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, public expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (2.4 %, rank 35/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, public expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (0.4 %, rank 39/40 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, public expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (2.9 %, rank 38/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, private expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively high. (1.2 %, rank 10/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    The share of private expenditure on pre-primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (50.5 %, rank 1/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of private expenditure on tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (69.4 %, rank 1/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of public expenditure on tertiary educational institutions is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.6 %, rank 36/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Japan has one of the largest shares of private expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (29 %, rank 7/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, total public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively low. (7.8 %, rank 34/38 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, total public expenditure on secondary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively low. (3.4 %, rank 35/38 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, international expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of total expenditure on tertiary education is relatively low. (0 %, rank 25/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Change in public expenditure on educational institutions for primary to tertiary education between 2010 and 2016 in Japan is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (-2 %, rank 22/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of public expenditure on educational institutions, for tertiary education is comparatively small. (30.6 %, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Japan, the share of public expenditure on educational institutions, for primary to tertiary education is comparatively small. (71 %, rank 29/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in early childhood and primary education is one of the highest in Japan compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (51 USD Equivalent, rank 2/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Total public expenditure on education as a percentage of total government expenditure, for primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low in Japan compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.2 %, rank 32/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Tuition fees

    The estimated average annual tuition fee for national students in independent private institutions for a master's or equivalent level education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7644 USD Equivalent, rank 8/12 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in lower secondary school is especially high. (201 Days, rank 2/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.4 %, rank 38/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in lower secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (43 %, rank 39/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in upper secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (30.8 %, rank 39/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education (bachelor's, master's, doctorate or equivalent education) is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (22.8 %, rank 27/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.4 %, rank 36/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (48.2 %, rank 32/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially high. (17.1 %, rank 5/34 , 2017) 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 most rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.08 Ratio, rank 4/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Salaries of primary school teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (63562 USD Equivalent, rank 10/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    It takes lower secondary teachers longer to progress through the salary scale in Japan compared to other OECD and partner countries. (34 Years, rank 7/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In lower secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively high. (2.08 Ratio, rank 10/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a short-cycle tertiary education degree is one the lowest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (2.1 %, rank 29/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the lowest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (1.8 %, rank 40/44 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Social outcomes

    Weekly working hours among employed 25-64 year-olds with below upper secondary education are long in Japan compared to other OECD countries. (39.9 Hours/week, rank 9/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Weekly working hours among employed 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education are long in Japan compared to other OECD countries. (42 Hours/week, rank 5/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed 25-64 year-olds with below upper secondary education, a large share have high flexibility of working hours. (37.5 %, rank 2/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education, a large share have high flexibility of working hours. (41.3 %, rank 8/28 , 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 Japan

    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.