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Educational attainment, Netherlands

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EDUCNL indicates the highest educational level in the Netherlands that the person had attended or completed.

Comparability — General

The basic education in the Netherlands is composed of 8 years of primary and 4 to 6 years of secondary, depending on the type of secondary education: pre-vocational (4 years), senior general (5 years), or pre-university (6 years). The upper secondary is equivalent to years 4-5 of the senior general, and years 4-6 of the pre-university secondary.

After finishing the pre-vocational or the senior general secondary education, students can enter vocational education, which lasts up to four years and is considered post-secondary non-tertiary education.

Students can enter the first stage of higher education after finishing the pre-university or the senior general secondary education, or after completing the senior secondary vocational education. The first stage of higher education includes programs leading to associate degrees (2 years) or bachelor's degree (4 years). The second stage of higher education comprises master's degree programs, specialization programs, and doctorate studies.

The census provides information about the educational level completed, but not the number of years finished within level. The 1960-2001 samples provide information for all persons, while the universe was restricted in 2011 to persons of age 15 years or older.


  • Netherlands 1960: All persons
  • Netherlands 1971: All persons
  • Netherlands 2001: All persons
  • Netherlands 2011: Persons age 15+


  • Netherlands: 1960, 1971, 2001, 2011