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France
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In France, men are more likely than women to pursue a vocational track. In 2019, 53% of upper secondary vocational graduates were men, compared to 55% on average across OECD countries.
  • In France, 53% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2020 compared to 46% of their male peers.
  • In 2018, France invested a total of USD 11 201 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 10 454 on average across OECD countries. This represents 5.2% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2019, all 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in France, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • Statutory salaries of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are 76% to 108% 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 France 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 proportion of 25-34 year-olds who have attained a general degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.6 %, rank 36/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate of 6-14 year-olds in France is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in France is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in France is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 30-39 year-olds in France is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.7 %, rank 37/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 40-64 year-olds in France is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.4 %, rank 39/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 3-5 year-old children in early childhood and primary education in France is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 20-24-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.3 %, rank 4/41 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of male tertiary graduates in the field of education is relatively low in France. (2.1 %, rank 40/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (71.7 %, rank 19/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively small. (49.4 %, rank 22/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by age

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from general programmes in France is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data (17.2 Years, rank 34/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (5.7 %, rank 43/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.1 %, rank 44/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (34.5 %, rank 5/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.2 %, rank 4/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in France is relatively large. (33.9 %, rank 4/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of business, aministration and law is relatively low. (5.6 %, rank 23/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (0 %, rank 24/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of health and welfare is relatively low. (6.6 %, rank 19/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of services is relatively low. (0 %, rank 24/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In France, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of education is relatively low. (3.4 %, rank 35/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is relatively low. (3.3 %, rank 33/36 , 2019) 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. (44.6 %, rank 33/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of education among all national tertiary students in France is relatively low. (3.7 %, rank 33/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of information and communication technologies among all national tertiary students in France is relatively low. (3.1 %, rank 39/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of female among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of education is relatively small. (60 %, rank 29/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the share of female among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively small. (38.8 %, rank 31/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France,the share of male among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively small. (63.1 %, rank 31/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In France, international or foreign students from Africa are highest represented among all international or foreign students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (50.1 %, rank 4/75 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics among all international or foreign tertiary students in France is relatively high. (13.4 %, rank 5/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of information and communication technologies among all international or foreign tertiary students in France is relatively low. (3.1 %, rank 39/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    The annual training costs per participant are one of the highest across OECD countries and partner countries. (2895.6 %, rank 3/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In France, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high compared to other OECD countries and partner countries. (2.5 %, rank 2/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of ver 249 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (3.2 %, rank 2/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In France, 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

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially low. (162 Days, rank 26/26 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in primary school is especially low. (162 Days, rank 32/32 , 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. (91.1 %, rank 36/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (41 %, rank 18/20 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Primary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is low in France. (1.01 Ratio, rank 21/22 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In France, the average actual salaries of 25-34 year-old lower-secondary school heads is relatively low compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (51002 USD Equivalent, rank 13/17 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23.1 Ratio, rank 4/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

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

    Organisation of the education system

    The number of instruction days per year for lower secondary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (162 Days, rank 36/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The number of instruction days per year for primary students is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (162 Days, rank 37/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In France, total intended instruction time for primary and lower secondary students is relatively important. (9268 Hours, rank 5/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In France, total intended instruction time for lower secondary students is relatively long. (4948 Hours, rank 2/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The average hours per year dedicated to intended instruction time for lower secondary students in France is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1237 Hours, rank 1/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Class size

    Classes in lower secondary private institutions are comparatively large in France. (26 Students, rank 4/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

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

    In government-dependent private institutions at lower secondary level, classes are one of the largest in France among OECD and partner countries with available data. (27 Students, rank 3/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In independent private institutions at lower secondary level, classes are one of the smallest in France among OECD and partner countries with available data. (12 Students, rank 17/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Earnings, gender and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (23.8 %, rank 26/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 55 to 64 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (34.8 %, rank 27/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The earnings of men without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of men with an upper secondary education. (95 Index, rank 3/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The earnings of women without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of women with an upper secondary education. (93 Index, rank 3/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Social outcomes

    In France, the proportion of adults without an upper secondary education who reported that the political system allows people like them to have a say in what the government does relatively is low. (17.6 %, rank 21/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Participation in education by gender

    The share of female students entering bachelor's programmes in France is relatively large. (57.9 %, rank 5/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Entrance

    In France, the average age of new entrants in short-cycle programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.9 Years, rank 30/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the average age of new entrants in doctoral programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28 Years, rank 34/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the percentage of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes younger than 25 is relatively high. (93.7 %, rank 2/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In France, the proportion of first-time entrants into doctorate's or equivalent programmes before the age of 30 is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (77 %, rank 2/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of young people expected to enter master's programmes before the age of 30 is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (38.6 %, rank 1/38 , 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 - France

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    Key
    Country Reviews for France

    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.