71% of Belgians between 25 and 64 completed secondary education

71 percent of the Belgian aged between 25 and 64 obtained a degree of secondary education, figures collected by the OECD in 2011 show. This is just below the OESO average. On average, the Belgian state spends a total of 11,028 dollars on each pupil. That puts Belgium in 8th place where expenses for education are concerned.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development includes 34 members, mostly rich countries. Apart from several European countries, the OECD boasts a smaller number other members like Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the United States.

On average, 75 percent of residents living in these countries completed secondary education. In the category between 25 and 34 years, their number climbs to 82 percent, which is exactly the same figure as for Belgium.

The cost of education is slightly higher in Belgium. The Belgian state spends 11,028 dollars on each pupil, compared to 9,308 on average in OECD countries. This could be attributed to "high wages" for teaching staff and an excess of management functions.

At the same time, it turns out that a high degree yields a better protection against the crisis. In 2008, the high-qualified on average earned 75 percent more than colleagues with a modest degree. 3 years later, this gap had grown to 90 percent. This means that the gap between low and high income is growing substantially.

On top of that, the OECD reports that unemployment levels among low-qualified staff grew much faster between 2008 and 2011 than for high-qualified staff, +2% versus +0.2%.