2011 NATIONAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS: Factsheet 4

Educational Attainment of Ontarians

Proportion Aged 25 to 64 with Trades Certificate and University Degree, Canada, 2011 Proportion Aged 25 to 64 by educational Attainment, Ontario, 2006 and 2011 Proportion Aged 25 to 64 by Educational Attainment and Age Group, Ontario, 2011 Proportion Aged 25 to 64 with a University Degree, Ontario CMAS, 2011 Proportion Aged 25 to 64 with a College Diploma, Ontario CMAs, 2011 Proportion Aged 25 to 64 with Trades Certificate, Ontario CMAs, 2011

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.

1Comparability between the 2006 Census and the 2011 NHS estimates: When comparing estimates over time, two key differences should be considered: 1. The NHS is a voluntary survey and may be subject to potentially higher non-response error than the 2006 Census. 2. The two sources represent different populations ̶ the 2006 Census includes residents in collective dwellings and persons living abroad, while the NHS excludes these groups.

Contact Galina Buryak (416) 325-0806

Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

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