Malta has one of EU’s lowest gender pay gaps

In 2012, 40% of young women had completed tertiary education compared with 32% of men

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
7 March 2014, 12:00am
Malta's fertility rate is lower than that of the EU average
Malta's fertility rate is lower than that of the EU average


Who are more likely to leave school early - women or men? What proportion of young women have a degree? Which fields of tertiary education are the most popular among women and which are the least? Are a higher or a lower proportion of women than men in employment? Do women or men more often work part time? What is the difference in earnings between women and men? How have fertility rates changed over the last decade?

Answers to these questions can be found in new data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union on the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March 2014, with a dedicated section on the topic of gender equality now available on the Eurostat web site.

Malta has one of the smallest gender pay gaps, at 6.1% of the average earnings of male employees.

The gender pay gap, meaning the difference between the average earnings of male and female employees as a share of male earnings, was 16.4% in the EU28 in 2012. There were considerable differences between Member States, with the largest gender pay gaps in Estonia (30.0%), Austria (23.4%), Germany (22.4%), the Czech Republic (22.0%), Slovakia (21.5%) and Hungary (20.1%), and the smallest in Slovenia (2.5%), Malta (6.1%), Poland (6.4%), Italy (6.7%) and Luxembourg (8.6%).

There was a smaller proportion of early leavers from education and training among women (10.9%) than among men (14.4%) in the EU28 in 2012. While the extent of leaving school early differs considerably between Member States, this gender pattern was the same for all except Bulgaria.

The largest differences between women and men for early leavers from education and training were observed in Portugal (14.3% for women and 27.1% for men), Malta (17.6% and 27.5%), Cyprus (7.0% and 16.5%), Latvia (6.3% and 14.7%) and Spain (20.8% and 28.8%), and the smallest in Austria (7.3% and 7.9%), Bulgaria (13.0% and 12.1%), Croatia (3.6% and 4.6%), the Czech Republic (4.9% and 6.1%) and Romania (16.7% and 18.0%).

A higher proportion of young women than men have a degree in the EU. In 2012, 39.9% of women aged 30 to 34 in the EU28 had completed a tertiary level of education, compared with 31.5% of men.

The largest differences in the rates between women and men were observed in Estonia (50.4% for women and 28.1% for men), Latvia (48.1% and 26.2%), Slovenia (49.6% and 29.5%) and Denmark (52.6% and 33.7%), and the smallest in Austria (26.6% and 26.0%), Luxembourg (48.9% and 50.4%), Germany (32.9% and 31.0%) and Romania (23.2% and 20.5%).

The fields of study chosen within tertiary education vary greatly between women and men. In the EU28 in 2011, 79.1% of tertiary education graduates in education & training and 76.0% of graduates in health & welfare were women.

On the other hand, only 26.6% of graduates in engineering and 40.8% in science & mathematics were female. The share of female graduates in the different fields varied significantly between Member States, ranging from 74.4% in Denmark to 95.1% in Romania for education & training, from 59.7% in Cyprus to 93.7% in Latvia for health & welfare, from 25.2% in the Netherlands to 60.7% in Romania for science & mathematics and from 16.9% in Ireland to 50.4% in Cyprus for engineering.

Highest fertility rates in Ireland, France and the United Kingdom

The fertility rate, meaning the number of children per woman, in the EU28 rose from 1.46 in 2001 to 1.61 in 2010, and then fell slightly to 1.58 in 2012. This rate increased in 22 Member States between 2001 and 2012, with the largest increases in Slovenia (from 1.21 in 2001 to 1.58 in 2012), Sweden (from 1.57 to 1.91), Lithuania (from 1.29 to 1.60), the Czech Republic (from 1.15 to 1.45), Bulgaria (from 1.21 to 1.50) and the United Kingdom (from 1.63 to 1.92). In 2012, the highest fertility rates were observed in Ireland and France (both 2.01), the United Kingdom (1.92) and Sweden (1.91), and the lowest in Portugal (1.28), Poland (1.30) and Spain (1.32).

It should be noted that among the ten Member States showing fertility rates above or at the EU28 average, eight of them (Denmark, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom) also had employment rates of women above the EU28 average and two of them (Belgium and Ireland) employment rates close to the average.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.