Despite nearly closing the gender pay gap, women in Luxembourg are still three and a half times less likely than men to be managers. Yet, on average, they are slightly better educated than men.

All these statistics and more are in Eurostat's 'The life of women and men in Europe' 2022 edition. The interactive guide highlights variations in the lives of men and women across the EU and EFTA countries.

The guide deals with averages, but for the sake of clarity and concision we will simplify and refer to 'women' and 'men'. These statistical people should be taken with a grain of salt. Clearly no couple has 2.1 children, for instance.

Nevertheless, they allow us to make objective comparisons between the sexes and across countries.

Below, we've picked out key themes relating to Luxembourg, and compared these to the EU averages.

The first article in this series looked at living and ageing. There's a wealth of data though, so this edition considers learning and earning, and a final part will look at nutrition, sports and internet usage.


Across the EU, women are more likely to hold degree-level qualifications (tertiary education) than men. However, the difference is relatively small, at 36% to 31%.

In the Grand Duchy, education levels are well above the EU average. Here, 51.8% of women hold a degree-level qualification, as do 49.3% of men.

The largest differences between women are in the Baltic states, Finland, Sweden, and Slovenia. In Sweden, for instance, 54.2% of women hold a degree-level qualification, compared to just 39.4% of men.

Germany is the only EU country where men are better qualified than women, with 32.9% educated to tertiary level, compared to 28.9% of women.

In the chart below, women are in yellow, men are in blue:


© Eurostat

All these figures relate to the working-age population, aged 25 to 64.

Interestingly, the figures also delve into the proportion of the working-age population that holds lower qualification levels.

In Luxembourg, 19% of women (EU: 19.9%) and 20.3% of men (EU: 21.4%) are educated up to primary or lower secondary level.

In contrast, 29.2% of women (EU: 44%) and 30.4% of men (EU: 47.8%) are educated up to upper secondary level, or hold some form of post-school qualification that is not equivalent to a degree.

In other words, while the number of Luxembourgers whose education maxed out at primary or lower secondary level is very similar to the EU average, the Grand Duchy is well above average in terms of the number of residents with degrees or equivalent qualifications.


On average in the EU, the employment rate of the working age population - here defined as 18 to 64 - is higher for men (76%) than for women (66%).

However, the gender employment gap increases depending on the number of children. The gap is seven percentage points for those without children (men: 72%; women: 65%). It increases all the way up to 27 percentage points for those with three or more children (men: 83%; women: 56%).

Does Luxembourg demonstrate the same pattern?

Well, first off, the pattern for the overall employment rate is remarkably similar to the EU average. 74.4% of working age men are in employment, compared to 66.6% of women.

When looking at childless individuals, the employment gap stands at just under seven percentage points (men: 69.6%; women: 63%) - again right in line with the EU average.

For those with three or more children, however, the gap is smaller than the EU average, at just over 18 percentage points (men: 85.5%; women: 67.4%). This suggests that compared to elsewhere in Europe, women with large families are more likely to still be in the workplace.

How do women square the circle, and remain in the workplace while still, one assumes, taking on more of the burden of childcare?

The Eurostat data provides a partial answer: part-time work.At 30.3%, the number of women in part time employment in Luxembourg is slightly above the EU average (28.7%). In contrast, just 6.4% of men are in part-time employment (EU: 7.9%).

No doubt other factors, such as the provision of childcare, also make a difference.

In the chart below, women are in yellow, men are in blue:


© Eurostat

With greater numbers of women working part-time, and fewer women with multiple children in the workplace than men, it seems likely there would be an impact on career prospects.

And indeed there is.

Women account for just over a third of managers in the EU. But in Luxembourg, women make up the second smallest share of managers across the bloc. Just over one in five managers are women (22%), which is similar to lowest-placed Cyprus (21%).

The picture is markedly different in Poland, Sweden, Bulgaria and the Baltic states. In Latvia, for instance, nearly half of managers are women (45.9%).

Again, women are in yellow, men are in blue:


© Eurostat


The final piece of the puzzle is earnings or, more specifically, the gender pay gap.

This is defined as the difference between average gross hourly earnings of male and female employees, as a percentage of male gross earnings.

The gender pay gap tests whether women are getting paid the same or less than men for equivalent work. And in stark contrast to the managerial figures, here Luxembourg punches well above its weight.

In fact, at 0.7%, the gender pay gap in Luxembourg is the lowest in Europe. Parity of pay between men and women has almost been achieved in the Grand Duchy, something that the female pioneers in Luxembourgish politics could only have dreamt of.

This is way ahead of the EU average, where the gap stands at 13%. Last-placed Latvia (where, if we recall, nearly half of managers are woman) has a gender pay gap of 22.3%.


So, to sum up, women in Luxembourg are better-educated than men (and better-educated than in most other EU countries). Once children enter the picture, they are less likely to be in the workplace. But still more likely to be working than in other EU countries. And just under a third of female workers are part-time, compared to 1 in 15 men.

Once in the workplace, women in Luxembourg are far less likely to be managers than in other EU countries. But they get paid more or less the same amount as men for equivalent work.

A mixed picture then, but one that hints at progress.