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As stated earlier in the section 'Substantial changes to census questions on education,' comparisons over time are limited, and thus most of the analysis for the remainder of the document will show comparisons between young adults aged 25 to 34 and their older counterparts.
Six out of every 10 adults aged between 25 and 64 had completed some form of postsecondary education in 2006, according to the census.
The census enumerated 10,541,900 people in this age group with a university degree, a college diploma or some form of postsecondary certificate. They accounted for 61% of the 17,382,100 persons in this age group.
Table 2 Number and proportion of persons aged 25 to 64 by level of educational attainment and age groups, Canada, 2006
Of these graduates, an estimated 23% had a university degree. An additional 20% had a college diploma; and 12% had a trades certificate.
An estimated 4,156,700 adults had a high school diploma as their highest level of educational attainment, just under one-quarter (24%) of the total.
The census found that 15%, or 2,683,500, had less than a high school education. These people with no formal educational credentials were concentrated in older age groups. In particular, 23% of the 55 to 64 year-olds had not completed their high school while it was the case for only 11% of the 25 to 34 year-olds.
Figure 1 Proportion of the population aged 25 to 64 by level of educational attainment and age groups, Canada, 2006