Benefits of educational attainment


Showing the broader benefits of education and training for Australian prosperity

Download Benefits of Educational Attainment Infographic

We simulated randomised control trials using integrated survey and administrative data for the first time to measure the impact of higher educational attainment as measured from Year 11 and below to postgraduate qualifications

Environmental conservation and advocacy

  • environmental conservation advocacy (11 percentage point increase)
  • considers negative effect on environment of purchases (26 percentage point increase)

Civic engagement, tolerance and trust

  • involvement in community support group (31 percentage point increase)
  • trust in justice system (24 percentage point increase)

Healthy behaviours

  • never smoked (35 percentage point increase)
  • exercise (32 percentage point increase)
  • alcohol consumption (9 percentage point decrease)

Voluntary work and donations

  • voluntary work (23 percentage point increase)
  • charitable gifts or donations (11 percentage point increase)

Employment and income support

  • unemployment rates (27 percentage point decrease)
  • use of income support (9 percentage point decrease)


  • asset wealth ($80 000 median asset wealth increase)
  • in receipt aged pension (32 percentage point decrease)

Financial stress

  • cash flow problems (18 percentage point decrease)
  • unable to access emergency cash (24 percentage point decrease)

Business management

  • likelihood of management jobs (10 percentage point increase)
  • likelihood of strategic business management (9 percentage point increase)

Median derived total annual income from wages and salaries for 30–64 year olds not currently studying, by highest level of educational attainment, 2015–16

Sources: Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, Australia (2011–12), General Social Survey (2014), Household Income and Wealth (2015–16), Management and Organisational Capability Survey (2015–16), Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (2016), National Health Survey (2014–15).