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Spain
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In Spain, men are as likely as women to pursue a vocational track. In 2019, 50% of upper secondary vocational graduates were men, compared to 55% on average across OECD countries.
  • In Spain, 54% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2020 compared to 41% of their male peers.
  • In 2018, Spain invested a total of USD 9 336 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 10 454 on average across OECD countries. This represents 4.3% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2019, 97% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in Spain, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • Statutory salaries of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are 42% to 50% higher than those of teachers with the minimum qualifications at the start of their career at pre-primary (ISCED 02), primary and general lower and upper secondary levels in Spain compared to 86% - 91% on average.
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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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    Attainment

    The level of upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (24.3 %, rank 40/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    The share of 25-34 year-old men who attained upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education in Spain is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (25 %, rank 41/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Spain has one of the largest share of women among 55-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education. (56.3 %, rank 2/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The share of students enrolled in school- and work-based programmes among all upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.4 %, rank 22/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation

    The share of long first degree master's graduates in public institutions is relatively low in Spain. (78.5 %, rank 20/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of first-time short-cycle graduates is relatively high in Spain. (39 %, rank 4/26 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of first-time bachelor's graduates is relatively low in Spain. (47.6 %, rank 28/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the share of first-time graduates in vocational programmes at post-secondary non-tertiary level is comparatively important . (100 %, rank 1/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    In Spain, the percentage of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (72.7 %, rank 18/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by age

    In Spain, the average age of post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (38.5 Years, rank 3/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    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. (15.3 %, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (7.9 %, rank 20/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    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. (13 %, rank 33/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In Spain, the proportion of international graduates among bachelor's first-time graduates is relatively low. (1.6 %, rank 27/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    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. (3.1 %, rank 31/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (1.8 %, rank 31/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    In Spain, the number of annual hours of participation of adults in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively high (148 %, rank 5/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the number of annual hours of participation of adults in formal education and training is comparatively low (284 %, rank 23/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Adult participation in non-formal education

    The proportion of adults employed in enterprises of 1-9 persons and participating in non-job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is is relatively low in Spain. (0.6 %, rank 18/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of adults employed in enterprises of over 249 persons and participating in non-job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is is relatively low in Spain. (1.1 %, rank 14/15 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the proportion of adults employed in the private sector and participating in non-job-related non-formal education and training sponsored by the employer is relatively low. (0.6 %, rank 29/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Spain, the public expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on primary to post-secondary non-tertiary level is low. (2.6 %, rank 22/26 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on primary to tertiary education is high. (0 USD Equivalent, rank 2/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Nature of expenditure

    In Spain, the share of capital expenditure on primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.2 %, rank 30/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the share of current expenditure on primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.8 %, rank 4/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of capital expenditure on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively in Spain. (3.1 %, rank 31/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the share of current expenditure on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.9 %, rank 3/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of capital expenditure for primary to tertiary education in Spain is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.3 %, rank 28/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of current expenditure for primary to tertiary education in Spain is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (94.7 %, rank 4/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of capital expenditure on secondary education is relatively in Spain. (3 %, rank 31/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of current expenditure on secondary education is relatively in Spain. (97 %, rank 3/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially low. (176 Days, rank 25/26 , 2020) 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. (92.8 %, rank 35/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The change between 2005 and 2013 in statutory salaries for primary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively small in Spain. (94 Index, rank 22/25 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The change between 2005 and 2013 in statutory salaries for lower secondary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively small in Spain. (92 Index, rank 23/25 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The change between 2003 and 2013 in statutory salaries for upper secondary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively small in Spain. (92 Index, rank 22/24 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The change in statutory pre-primary teachers' salaries with 15 years of experience, based on most prevalent qualifications at different points in their careers is comparatively small in Spain. (94 Index, rank 18/20 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    Starting salaries for lower secondary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (48178 USD Equivalent, rank 5/37 , 2020) 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 3/27 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the vocational upper secondary level is especially low in Spain. (8.4 Ratio, rank 27/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the number of students per teacher in public upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.3 Ratio, rank 39/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Class size

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively large in Spain. (27 Students, rank 3/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In government-dependent private institutions at primary education level, classes are relatively large in Spain. (25 Students, rank 3/19 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In independent private institutions at primary education level, classes are one of the largest in Spain among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20 Students, rank 5/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In government-dependent private institutions at lower secondary level, classes are one of the largest in Spain among OECD and partner countries with available data. (27 Students, rank 3/20 , 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. (82.5 %, rank 38/41 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (58.7 %, rank 36/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (71.2 %, rank 30/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 35-44 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (76.7 %, rank 30/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 45-54 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (73.6 %, rank 30/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Employment by gender and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with tertiary education is compartively low in Spain. (76.8 %, rank 40/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is compartively low in Spain. (68.4 %, rank 41/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is comparatively high. (27.6 %, rank 3/42 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with below upper secondary education is low in Spain. (19.5 %, rank 41/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (17.5 %, rank 2/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest of all OECD countries and partner economies for which data are available. (23 %, rank 3/38 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with vocational upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (15.4 %, rank 3/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with vocational upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (20 %, rank 3/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    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. (109 Index, rank 24/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Entrance

    The proportion of youth (excluding international students) expected to enter tertiary education before the age of 25 is comparatively high in Spain. (63.7 %, rank 5/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of today's young people (excluding international students) expected to enter master's programmes before the age of 25 is one of the largest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (1.7 %, rank 3/30 , 2019) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • One in five adults across the OECD has not attained upper secondary education.
    • In 2020, the unemployment rate of adults that had not completed upper secondary education was almost twice as high as those with higher qualifications, and 27% of these adults earn only at or below half the median on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2019, at least 10% of school-aged youth were not in school in about a quarter of OECD countries.
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    • In 2019, women made up 55% of new entrants to tertiary education on average. If current patterns continue, it is expected that 46% of young women will graduate with a tertiary degree for the first time before they turn 30, 15 percentage points more than men.
    • Women also earn on average about 76-78% of men’s salaries regardless of educational attainment, although the gender gap narrowed by 2 percentage points between 2013 and 2019.
    • Women are less likely than men to enter a STEM field of study, and the average share remained generally stable between 2013 and 2019.
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    • On average across countries, expenditure on educational institutions amounted to approximately USD 9 300 per student at pre-primary level; USD 10 500 at primary, secondary and post-secondary non tertiary level; and USD 17 100 at tertiary level.
    • The public sector funds 90% of total expenditure on primary and secondary institutions on average, often compulsory in most OECD countries, compared to 83% at pre-primary level and 66% at tertiary level.
    • In 2018, the OECD countries spent on average 4.9% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on primary to tertiary educational institutions.
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    • In 2019, less than 5% of pre-primary teachers were men, compared to 18% at primary level, 40% at upper secondary level and more than 50% at tertiary level on average.
    • Between 2005 and 2020, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data for all reference years, the statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications increased by 3% at primary level, 4% at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 2% at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • Attracting male teachers to the profession can be difficult: While the average actual salary of female teachers is equal to or higher than the average salary of other full-time, tertiary-educated women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 76% and 85% of the average earnings of other full-time, tertiary-educated men.
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    • On average across OECD countries, 87% of children aged 3-5 are enrolled in education on average across OECD countries compared to 25% for children below the age of 3.
    • There are 15 children for every teacher at pre-primary level on average across OECD countries.
    • Half of children enrolled in early childhood development services and a two-thirds of pre-primary children attend public institutions on average across OECD countries
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - Spain

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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 averages. 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 2021 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

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