Figures released by the Central Statistics Office this week have shown that 60% of those holding third-level qualifications in Donegal are women.

The publication shows that 42% of the population aged 15 and over had a third-level qualification in 2016.

Over 1 in 3 Donegal people have a third-level qualification, with females making up 60.8% of Donegal graduates compared to 39.2% of males.

13,514 women in Donegal had obtained a third-level qualification in 2016, an increase of almost 2,000 in 2011 (11,710). More men have been completing third-level courses as well, with 8,731 earning a third-level qualification in 2016 compared to 7,580 in 2011.

The CSO has revealed the areas of Ireland which contain the highest number of young people pursuing third-level education, showing that 60.6% of all 20 year olds in family units were students in 2016.

Areas of Donegal where all 20 year olds in the area were enrolled in education were Lettermacaward, Maas, Arranmore Island, Glen, Fanad North, Grousehall, Cloghard, Knockalla, and Cranford.

Source: CSO

The number of people holding a Ph.D. in Donegal jumped to 474, up 108 since 2011.

Education levels have greatly improved in Ireland since 1991. Of those aged 15 and over in April 2016, 42.0% had a third-level qualification, compared with 13.6% in 1991. Census 2016 shows us that, in general, women were better educated than men, with 43.2% of females aged 15 and over having a third level qualification compared with 40.7% of males.

Donegal has been ranked as having one of the youngest average age of school leavers at 18.9%, compared to the national 19.9 years.

21.9% of people in Donegal ceased education at primary level, with a further 18.1% completing education at lower secondary level and 26.6% at upper secondary level.


To see the percentage of students in your Electoral Division, you can follow this link to visit the CSO’s interactive map:

Please note: The error seen on the map, in which Derry/Londonderry/Doire is seen over Donegal, is due to a glitch with the Central Statistics Office’s map itself when zooming in on Donegal. All other information on the map is accurate, such as the placement and statistics of the various Electoral Divisions.