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More kiwis are gaining tertiary qualifications and despite an OECD survey showing a drop in the educational ranking of New Zealand 15-year-olds, an increasing number of teenagers are completing their school years, the latest census shows.
Of some 3 million New Zealanders aged 15 and over surveyed for the 2013 census, the number recording no qualifications fell about 11 percent compared to the 2006 census to 628,377.
By contrast, those recording a bachelor degree or Level 7 qualification jumped by 29 percent to 408,444, those who went on to post-graduate and honours degrees surged 56 percent to 86,598, and New Zealanders with a masters degree climbed 41 percent to 83,949. The number of kiwis with a doctorate also climbed, up 33 percent to 22,317.
The sample size for the 2013 survey was about 6 percent higher than in 2006. The latest census shows improvement across all regions
Perhaps one of the most encouraging results was the pick-up in people with a minimum tertiary qualification in regions that typically don't achieve top scores in socio-demographic measures.
Northland recorded a 38 percent jump in people with a bachelor degree or equivalent. For Bay of Plenty, the increase was 41 percent, while for those in Taranaki the increase was 40 percent and Tasman recorded a 38 percent increase.
Wellington again dominated as the region with the biggest proportion overall of people with tertiary qualifications, at 25 percent of the total surveyed, up from 21 percent in the 2006 census. Auckland took second place, with 22 percent of the population having a tertiary qualification, up from 15 percent seven years earlier.