Fact Sheet

Highest Level of Educational Attainment in South Africa, 2024

This Fact Sheet draws the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders to the progress made by South Africans in terms of their highest levels of educational attainment (HLEA).


This Fact Sheet provides signals on how best to balance the provisioning of education at distinct levels of the system and seeks to provide answers to the following research questions:

  • What is the highest level of educational attainment of South Africa’s population, including its workforce?
  • What is the profile of those who completed education at various levels, disaggregated by race, gender, and age?
  • How does South Africa compare internationally, in terms of highest level of educational attainment?

Highest level of education refers to the highest grade completed at school and/or the highest post-school qualification obtained.

This publication covers

  • Background and Purpose
  • Terms and definitions: Adult, Highest Level of Educational Attainment, Tertiary education, Employed and Unemployed
  • Summary of findings and conclusions