Canada has maintained its spot as the OECD's most educated country since 2010

Canada maintains its standing as the most educated country in the world with 56.7% of Canadian adults having received a post-secondary degree. That's 10.3 percentage points higher than the U.S. and 19.8 percentage points higher than the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average. Rounding out the top three is Japan at 51.4% and Israel at 50.9%.

The rankings are based on adult education level, which the OECD measures as the percentage between the ages 25-64 who completed some kind of tertiary education in the form of a two-year, four-year degree or vocational program.

The OECD's most educated countries

Adult education level
Tertiary, % of 25-64 year-olds, 2017
Country Percentage
South Africa 7.4
Indonesia 11.9
Mexico 17.4
Italy 18.7
Turkey 20.0
Argentina 21.4
Colombia 22.5
Costa Rica 23.0
Slovak Republic 23.1
Czech Republic 23.9
Portugal 24.0
Hungary 24.1
Germany 28.6
Poland 29.9
Greece 31.0
Austria 32.4
Latvia 33.9
Slovenia 34.3
France 35.2
Spain 36.4
OECD - Average 36.9
Netherlands 37.2
New Zealand 37.7
Denmark 39.2
Estonia 39.7
Belgium 40.3
Lithuania 40.3
Luxembourg 40.3
Sweden 41.9
Iceland 42.4
Switzerland 42.6
Norway 43.2
Finland 44.3
Australia 45.4
Ireland 45.7
United Kingdom 45.7
United States 46.4
Korea 47.7
Israel 50.9
Japan 51.4
Canada 56.7
Source: Education at a glance: Educational attainment and labour-force status

Related: 69% of Ontario adults possess a post-secondary education – a rate higher than any OECD country.

Canada's world-class higher education system

The nation's percentage of adults with a post-secondary education has risen 40% since 2000, reflecting the increasing value Canadians place on attainment of post-secondary and post-graduate levels of education. Canadians value education, and the Ontario government supports strengthening its colleges and universities.

Times Higher Education ranked nine Canadian universities among the top 200 universities worldwide. Four out of the nine Canadian universities ranked are in Ontario, including: Western University, McMaster University, University of Ottawa and the top ranked university in Canada, the University of Toronto, which is ranked 21st in the world. It's why more than 116,000 international students come to Ontario each year, and it's an important ingredient to supplying innovative companies across a variety of sectors with people who have the skills essential to keeping Ontario businesses competitive.

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November 22, 2018
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