United States - School enrollment, tertiary (% gross)

The value for School enrollment, tertiary (% gross) in United States was 85.80 as of 2015. As the graph below shows, over the past 44 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 96.32 in 2011 and a minimum value of 47.32 in 1971.

Definition: Gross enrollment ratio is the ratio of total enrollment, regardless of age, to the population of the age group that officially corresponds to the level of education shown. Tertiary education, whether or not to an advanced research qualification, normally requires, as a minimum condition of admission, the successful completion of education at the secondary level.

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics.

See also:

Year Value
1971 47.32
1972 48.17
1973 48.62
1974 48.98
1975 51.01
1976 54.67
1977 52.84
1978 53.29
1979 52.50
1980 53.45
1981 55.52
1982 56.77
1983 57.32
1984 58.13
1985 57.99
1986 59.16
1987 61.80
1988 64.47
1989 67.17
1990 70.75
1991 72.55
1992 77.09
1993 78.68
1994 78.31
1995 78.31
1996 77.78
1998 70.63
1999 72.16
2000 68.14
2001 68.98
2002 79.33
2003 81.31
2004 81.46
2005 82.08
2006 82.05
2007 83.03
2008 85.01
2009 88.58
2010 94.23
2011 96.32
2012 94.84
2013 88.81
2014 86.66
2015 85.80

Development Relevance: Gross enrollment ratios indicate the capacity of each level of the education system, but a high ratio may reflect a substantial number of overage children enrolled in each grade because of repetition or late entry rather than a successful education system. The net enrollment rate excludes overage and underage students and more accurately captures the system's coverage and internal efficiency. Differences between the gross enrollment ratio and the net enrollment rate show the incidence of overage and underage enrollments.

Limitations and Exceptions: Enrollment indicators are based on annual school surveys, but do not necessarily reflect actual attendance or dropout rates during the year. Also, the length of education differs across countries and can influence enrollment rates, although the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) tries to minimize the difference. For example, a shorter duration for primary education tends to increase the rate; a longer one to decrease it (in part because older children are more at risk of dropping out). Moreover, age at enrollment may be inaccurately estimated or misstated, especially in communities where registration of births is not strictly enforced.

Other Notes: Each economy is classified based on the classification of World Bank Group's fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017).

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Gross enrollment ratio for tertiary school is calculated by dividing the number of students enrolled in tertiary education regardless of age by the population of the age group which officially corresponds to tertiary education, and multiplying by 100. Data on education are collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics from official responses to its annual education survey. All the data are mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to ensure the comparability of education programs at the international level. The current version was formally adopted by UNESCO Member States in 2011. Population data are drawn from the United Nations Population Division. Using a single source for population data standardizes definitions, estimations, and interpolation methods, ensuring a consistent methodology across countries and minimizing potential enumeration problems in national censuses. The reference years reflect the school year for which the data are presented. In some countries the school year spans two calendar years (for example, from September 2010 to June 2011); in these cases the reference year refers to the year in which the school year ended (2011 in the example).

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual


Topic: Education Indicators

Sub-Topic: Participation