Educational Attainment of Ontarians
This factsheet looks at the 2006 Census data on Education released by Statistics Canada.
Over a Quarter of the Adult Population had a University Degree
- According to the 2006 Census, over one quarter (26%) of Ontarians aged 25 to 64 had a university degree in 2006, the highest proportion among the provinces and territories.
- In contrast, only 9% of Ontario’s adult population had a trades certificate as their highest level of educational attainment which was the lowest in all of Canada.
- 22% of Ontario’s adult population had a college diploma, one quarter (25%) had a high school diploma as their highest level of attainment, while 14% had not completed high school.
- In 2006, 6 out of every 10 Ontarians aged between 25 and 64 had completed some form of postsecondary education, and 1 out of every 5 university graduates (bachelor’s degree and above) had a master’s degree as their highest degree.
- The number of adults aged 25 to 64 who reported a university degree increased by 24.7% from 1,383,860 in 2001 to 1,725,425 in 2006. In comparison, the number of adults who did not have a university degree increased by 2.3%.
- Over half a million (532,485) or one quarter (25.5%) of women aged 25 to 64 with postsecondary qualifications had business, management and public administration as a major field of study in 2006. In contrast, over three-quarters of a million (787,500) or 39.6% of men under the same qualifications and age group had architecture, engineering and related technologies as a major field of st
Education Choices Changing
- Young adults are obtaining a different education than older generations. For example, in 2006, 15.7% of young people aged 25 to 34 had a trades certificate, noticeably lower than the 25.3% of adults aged 55 to 64 who had one.
- On the other hand, 29% of young people aged 25 to 34 had a university degree at the bachelor’s level or above, while among adults aged 55 to 64 the percentage was 15.7 in 2006.
Educational Attainment in Ontarios CMAs
- CMAs accounted for 90% of Ontario’s adult population with a university degree in 2006.
- In 4 of the 15 CMAs, the proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 with a university degree surpassed the provincial average of 26%.
- The proportion of the adult population with a college diploma is above the provincial average in 12 CMAs, while those with a trades certificate exceeded the provincial average in 11 CMAs.
- The adult population with a high school diploma was higher than the provincial average in 10 CMAs.
Proportions of Adults with a University Degree
- In Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part), nearly 4 in 10 of the population aged 25 to 64 had a university degree, the highest proportion in all of Ontario.
- Toronto had the second highest proportion where a third of its adult population had a university degree. This was followed by Guelph which had 30% of its adult population with a university degree.
- In Brantford, 14% of the adult population had a university degree, the lowest proportion in all of the CMAs.
Proportion of Adults with a College Diploma
- Greater Sudbury had the highest proportion of its adult population with a college diploma in 2006 at 28.7%, followed by Oshawa (28.2%) and Peterborough (27.9%).
- Toronto, Guelph and Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part) had the lowest proportions of their adult population with a college diploma, all at 8% or less.
Proportions of Adults with a Trades Certificate
- 12.2% of the adult population aged 25 to 64 of Greater Sudbury had a trades certificate in 2006, the largest proportion of all the CMAs.
- In Thunder Bay, 12.1% of the adult population had a trades certificate, the second highest, followed by St. Catharines-Niagara with 10.9%.
- In Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part), 6.1% of the adult population had a trades certificate, the lowest proportion among the CMAs.
Contact Paul Lewis (416) 325-0821 / Victor Caballero (416) 325-0825.
Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch