Women teachers largely over-represented in primary education in the EU

Women teachers largely over-represented in primary education in the EU

Women teachers largely over-represented in primary education in the EU

The FINANCIAL -- In 2014, 2.1 million persons worked as primary school teachers in the European Union (EU). Women were largely predominant, accounting for 85% (1.7 million teachers). In secondary schools, including both lower secondary and upper secondary levels, there were 3.6 million teachers, of which 64% (2.3 million) were female.

Of the primary school teachers working in the EU, 0.2 million persons (11% of the total) were under 30 years old, while 0.7 million (around 32%) were aged 50 or older. In secondary schools, the share of teachers aged 50 or older was higher – 38% or 1.4 million people –, and the share of young teachers under 30 was lower – 8% or 0.3 million people.

On the occasion of the World Teachers' Day, celebrated each year on 5 October, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes data on the gender and age structure of the teaching staff in the EU.

Almost all primary school teachers are women in Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy

In all EU Member States, primary school teachers in 2014 were predominantly female. The share of women reached 90% in 11 Member States, with the highest proportions in Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia (all 97%) and Italy (96%). The situation was less imbalanced in Denmark (69%), Greece (70%) and Luxembourg (75%). At EU level, 85% of people working as primary school teachers were women.

1 out of 3 teachers in EU primary schools were 50 or more years old in 2014. In Italy, more than half of teachers fell in this age group (53%). High shares were also registered in Bulgaria, Germany (both 42%) and Lithuania (41%).

More than half of secondary school teachers aged 50 or more in Italy and Estonia

In secondary schools also, teachers were mainly female in all Member States. However, here the situation was more balanced than at the primary level, with the shares of women ranging from 51% in Netherlands, 53% in

Luxembourg, 56% in Denmark and 57% in Spain to 83% in Latvia, 82% in Lithuania and 79% in Bulgaria. At EU level, nearly two thirds of people working as secondary school teachers were women (64%).

38% of the teachers in the EU secondary schools were 50 or more years old in 2014. The highest shares were registered in Italy (58%) and Estonia (50%), followed by Latvia (49%), Bulgaria and Germany (both 48%). In contrast, there were proportionally fewer teachers in this age group in Malta (15%), the United Kingdom (25%), Luxembourg (26%) and Poland (27%).