Educational Attainment of Ontarians
This factsheet looks at data on education released by Statistics Canada as part of the 2011 National Household Survey1.
Ontario: Highest Proportion of University-Educated Adults in Canada
In 2011, almost a third (31.5%) of Ontarians aged 25 to 64 had a university degree, the highest proportion among the provinces and territories.
- In contrast, only 7.9% of Ontario’s adult population had a trades certificate as their highest level of educational attainment, which was the lowest in all of Canada.
- 25.2% of Ontario’s adult population had a college diploma, 22.8% had a high school diploma as their highest level of attainment, while 8.0% had not completed high school.
- In 2011, nearly 7 out of 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.
Most Popular Fields of Study Differ for Men and Women
- 25.6% of women aged 25 to 64 with postsecondary qualifications (468,855) had business, management and public administration as a major field of study in 2011. In contrast, 36.6% of men under the same qualifications and age group (666,455) had architecture, engineering and related technologies as a major field of study.
Fewer Young Adults Studying in Trades
- Young adults (aged 25 to 34) are obtaining more education than older generations. In 2011, only 5.5% of young adults had not completed high school, while 11.9% of 55 to 64 year old population had not completed high school.
- Young adults are also obtaining a different kind of education than older generations. In 2011, fewer young adults were studying in trades than their parents. About 5.9% of adults aged 25 to 34 had a trades certification in 2011, compared with 10.1% of 55 to 64 year old adults.
- In 2011, younger adults were much more likely to be university educated than older adults (37.4% of young adults had a university degree compared to 25.5% of older adults).
- Proportions of college-educated adults were mostly similar between different age cohorts, with the exception of older adults who had a slightly smaller share of those with a college diploma.
Educational Attainment in Ontario’s CMAs
- In 2011, census metropolitan areas (CMAs) accounted for just over 90% of Ontario’s adult population with a university degree.
- In 3 out of 15 CMAs, the proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 with a university degree surpassed the provincial average of 31.5%.
- The proportion of the adult population with a college diploma exceeded the provincial average in 12 CMAs.
- Likewise, the proportion of the adult population with a trades certificate exceeded the provincial average in 12 CMAs.
Proportions of Adults with a University Degree
- The proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 with a university degree increased from 26.0% in the 2006 Census to 31.5% in the 2011 National Household Survey.
- In Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part), 44.3% 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 39.6% of its adult population had a university degree. This was followed by Guelph at 33.5%.
- In Brantford,16.3% of the adult population had a university degree, the lowest proportion in all the CMAs.
Proportion of Adults with a Trades Certificate
- 11.8% of the adult population aged 25 to 64 of Thunder Bay CMA had a trades certificate in 2011, the largest proportion of all the CMAs in Ontario, followed by 11.3% in Greater Sudbury.
- In Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part), 5.6% of the adult population had a trades certificate, the lowest proportion among the CMAs.
- The proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 with a trades certificate decreased from 8.8% in 2006 to 7.9% in 2011.
Proportion of Adults with a College Diploma
- Oshawa CMA had the highest proportion of its adult population with a college diploma (32.6%) in 2011, followed by Peterborough (31.4%) and Barrie (31.0%).
- Toronto (20.9%), Guelph (23.5%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (23.5%) had the lowest proportions of their adult population with a college diploma.
Contact Galina Buryak (416) 325-0806
Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch