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Number of doctorate degrees (PhD degrees) compared internationally

data publication
12 May 2022
PhD students science
How many PhDs does the Netherlands have per 1,000 inhabitants in the age category 25-34? And in which field of science are they promoted? In this data publication, Dutch PhDs are compared internationally in two ways. First, the relative number of PhDs in the 25-34 age group is shown, as a share of the population in the 25-34 age group. Then the share of promotions per scientific discipline is shown for various countries.

In short

  • Switzerland has the highest amount of obtained PHD degrees by scientists in the age of 25-34 year per 1,000 inhabitants in the same age category.
  • In the age category 25-34 year olds, the Netherlands has an average of 1,7 awarded PhD degrees per 1,000 inhabitants (2019).
  • Most of the PhD degrees are obtained in the scientific fields Health, Nature and Technology.

How many scientists aged 25-34 obtained their doctorate degree in 2019, per 1,000 inhabitants in the same age category?

The number of doctorate degrees per 1,000 persons aged 25-34 in 2019 is the highest in Switzerland with 2.9 doctorate degrees per 1,000 persons aged 25-34. Germany and the United Kingdom are in the group of 2 or more doctorate degrees per 1,000 persons in that age group. In 2020, the Netherlands had 1,7 doctorate degrees per 1,000 persons aged 25-34. 

In which field of science did these scientists obtain their doctorate?

What is striking in the second graph is that the Netherlands has the largest share of doctorate degrees in the field of health sciences and in the field of agriculture. In addition, the Netherlands has a relatively small share of doctorate degrees in the fields nature, technology, humanities, IT and education.