Majority of Dutch couples consist of two highly educated people

Last year the biggest proportion of Dutch couples consisted of two highly educated people, instead of one highly educated person and one less educated person as was the case in 2006, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday. According to the stats office, this can be attributed to the fact that more people in the Netherlands achieve at least a bachelors degree.

Last year 30.3 percent of couples in the Netherlands between the ages of 25 and 45 years consisted of two highly educated people, compared to 19.2 percent in 2006. There were 28.4 percent couples with one highly educated person, compared to 25.3 percent in 2006. And 20.7 percent of couples both had a high school level education in 2016, compared to 25.1 percent in 2006. The proportion of couples in which both members had a low-level education, dropped from 9 percent in 2006 to 5.2 percent in 2016. 

The Netherlands populations' level of education increased significantly over the past 10 years. Last year over 45 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 45 years achieved at least a bachelors degree, and 39 percent of men in the same age group. In 2006 just over a third of each gender had at least a bachelors degree. 

The proportion of highly educated couples is highest in the large Dutch cities. In the highly urban municipalities, 45 percent of 25- to 45-year-old couples were both highly educated last year. In the least urban municipalities, the proportion is more than twice as low. But according to Statistics Netherlands, the difference is decreasing - the proportion of highly educated couples increased faster in the less urban municipalities than in the more urban municipalities. 

Compared to the other major cities, Utrecht has the most highly educated couples with 63 percent. Groningen comes in second place with 56 percent, and Amsterdam in third with 54 percent.