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Portugal
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Portugal
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In Portugal, men are more likely than women to pursue a vocational track. In 2019, 51% of upper secondary vocational graduates were men, compared to 55% on average across OECD countries.
  • In Portugal, 49% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2020 compared to 35% of their male peers.
  • In 2018, Portugal invested a total of USD 10 013 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 10 454 on average across OECD countries. This represents 5% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2019, 92% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in Portugal, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • Statutory salaries of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are 116% 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 Portugal 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 25-64 year-olds who have attained a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary qualification is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7.9 %, rank 31/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 55-64 year-olds 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. (2.2 %, rank 33/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of students in government-dependent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 19/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of students enrolled in programmes providing full completion and access to tertiary education among all students enrolled in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    The proportion of young people expected to be first-time graduates from post-secondary non-tertiary education before turning 30 is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (1 %, rank 20/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation

    In Portugal, 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 Portugal, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively high. (40.9 %, rank 4/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of female graduates among post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes in Portugal is relatively low. (30.2 %, rank 24/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the share of female tertiary graduates in the field of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.6 %, rank 5/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of male tertiary graduates in the field of education is relatively low in Portugal. (1.9 %, rank 41/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by age

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from general programmes in Portugal is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (21.4 Years, rank 1/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the percentage of first-time master's graduates younger than 35 is relatively high. (93.5 %, rank 5/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the percentage of first-time doctorate graduates younger than 35 is relatively low. (41.6 %, rank 27/29 , 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. (5.9 %, rank 42/43 , 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. (4.2 %, rank 43/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.3 %, rank 39/43 , 2019) 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. (19.6 %, rank 5/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, 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. (15.6 %, rank 31/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the proportion of upper secondary vocational graduates in the field of services is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (27 %, rank 5/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the percentage of post-secondary non-tertiary vocational graduates in the field of business, aministration and law is relatively low. (7.8 %, rank 20/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Portugal, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of education is relatively low. (3.5 %, rank 34/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is relatively low. (3.2 %, rank 34/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of education among all national tertiary students in Portugal is relatively low. (3.2 %, rank 34/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of information and communication technologies among all national tertiary students in Portugal is relatively low. (2.7 %, rank 40/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal,the share of male among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively small. (63.5 %, rank 30/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In Portugal, 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. (29.9 %, rank 5/75 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of information and communication technologies among all international or foreign tertiary students in Portugal is relatively low. (2.7 %, rank 40/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    The annual training costs per participant are one of the lowest across OECD countries and partner countries. (967.9 %, rank 21/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of 10-49 employed persons, the annual training costs per participant are relatively low in Portugal. (807.1 %, rank 22/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Portugal, international expenditure as a percentage of GDP on primary to post-secondary non-tertiary education from initial source of funds is relatively high. (0.1 %, rank 3/28 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The average annual growth in the number of full-time equivalent student (2012 to 2018) at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level is comparatively small in Portugal. (-1.8 %, rank 35/37 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure on educational institutions at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level is relatively low in Portugal. (-1.1 %, rank 30/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, 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

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in the number of full-time equivalent student from primary to tertiary education is one of the smallest in Portugal among OECD and partner countries with available data. (-1.7 %, rank 32/35 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure on primary to tertiary education in Portugal is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (-1.1 %, rank 29/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on tertiary education is relatively large . (0.1 %, rank 4/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    The relative share of international expenditure on primary to tertiary education from initial source of funds is relatively large in Portugal. (4.3 %, rank 5/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The relative share of international expenditure on tertiary education from initial source of funds in Portugal is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10.4 %, rank 5/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Nature of expenditure

    In Portugal, the share of capital expenditure on primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.1 %, rank 29/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the share of current expenditure on primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (95.9 %, rank 5/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of capital expenditure for primary to tertiary education in Portugal is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.8 %, rank 27/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of current expenditure for primary to tertiary education in Portugal is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (94.2 %, rank 5/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially low. (177 Days, rank 24/26 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The percentage of primary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (1.4 %, rank 37/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of lower secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (1 %, rank 35/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (1.8 %, rank 36/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (1.4 %, rank 37/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers older than 50 is especially high. (45.8 %, rank 5/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the share of female teachers younger than 30 in tertiary education is relatively small . (44 %, rank 30/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in upper secondary education is especially high in Portugal. (69.7 %, rank 5/37 , 2019) 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 highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.48 Ratio, rank 1/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary 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. (1.33 Ratio, rank 3/25 , 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 Portugal. (95 Index, rank 20/24 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary female teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year women workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.55 Ratio, rank 1/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary male teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year men workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.12 Ratio, rank 3/21 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The salaries of 25-34 year-old general lower-secondary teachers relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in Portugal. (1.37 Ratio, rank 3/21 , 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 Portugal. (95 Index, rank 16/20 , 2020) 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. (2.16 Ratio, rank 2/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Lower-secondary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in Portugal. (1.88 Ratio, rank 2/22 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the upper secondary level is especially low. (9.2 Ratio, rank 40/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in secondary schools is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.2 Ratio, rank 33/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the number of students per teacher in public lower secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.7 Ratio, rank 36/40 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the number of students per teacher in public upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.1 Ratio, rank 40/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the number of students per teacher in all public secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.9 Ratio, rank 36/38 , 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. (167 Days, rank 34/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Class size

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

    In independent private institutions at lower secondary level, classes are one of the largest in Portugal among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23 Students, rank 4/20 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (69.7 %, rank 4/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is compartively high in Portugal. (73.1 %, rank 2/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (78.7 %, rank 4/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (83.3 %, rank 5/34 , 2020) 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. (81 %, rank 2/40 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Employment by gender and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old women with below upper secondary education is compartively high in Portugal. (64.5 %, rank 2/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with below upper secondary education is low in Portugal. (18 %, rank 42/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low in Portugal. (9.4 %, rank 43/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-olds with vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low. (7.2 %, rank 31/33 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the inactivity rate of 25-34 year-olds with general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low. (11.9 %, rank 38/39 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (95 Index, rank 28/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is high. (169 Index, rank 4/34 , 2019) 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. (100 Index, rank 28/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (170 Index, rank 4/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (93 Index, rank 29/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time with a short cycle tertiary education are comparatively low. (94 Index, rank 27/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Neither in education nor employed

    In Portugal, the proportion of young men who are neither employed nor in education or training among 15-19 year-olds is comparatively small. (3 %, rank 35/38 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Participation in education by gender

    The share of female students entering short-cycle tertiary programmes in Portugal is comparatively small. (38.6 %, rank 36/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Entrance

    In Portugal, the average age of new entrants in short-cycle programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (21.2 Years, rank 28/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the average age of new entrants in master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.4 Years, rank 20/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the percentage of new entrants in short-cycle tertiary programmes younger than 25 is relatively high. (88.3 %, rank 5/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Portugal, the proportion of first-time entrants into doctorate's or equivalent programmes before the age of 30 is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (34.4 %, rank 33/35 , 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. (31.8 %, rank 2/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Excluding international students, Portugal has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to enter master's programmes before turning 30. (27.1 %, rank 3/33 , 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 - Portugal

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    Key
    Country Reviews for Portugal

    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.