More than half (53%) of Irish 25 to 64-year-olds have a third-level education, according to new CSO figures.
And 29% had a secondary-level education, with 4% at primary level or having no formal education.
Younger age groups report the highest levels of third-level attainment, with 61% of those aged 25 to 34 holding a third-level qualification.
And employment rates increase as the level of education goes up.
Males aged 25 to 64 with a third-level qualification had an employment rate of 90%, compared with 38% of those with a primary education or no formal education.
The CSO’s Educational Attainment Thematic Report for Q2, 2021, is compiled using Labour Force Survey and Eurostat data.
It shows that, in 2020, Ireland had higher rates of tertiary education among 25 to 34-year-olds, compared with the EU-27 average, with a peak of 58% compared with the EU-27 average of 41%.
Just under two-thirds (64%) of early school-leavers aged 18 to 24 were not economically active in Q2 2021 compared with 35% of others aged 18 to 24.
In Dublin, 61% of those aged between 25 to 64 had a third-level qualification compared with 44% in the border and midlands areas.
In Q2 of 2021, females aged 25 to 64 with a third-level qualification were more than three times as likely to be employed (81%) compared with females with a primary education or no formal education (24%).
Around 4% of people aged between 25 to 64 had only a primary school education or no formal education.
In Q2 of 2021, younger age groups reported the highest levels of third-level attainment, with well more than half of the 25 to 34 and 35 to 45-year-olds in this category (61% and 59%, respectively), compared with approximately one-third (34%) of 60 to 64-year-olds.
This reflects increased levels of participation in third-level education over time.
Regional differences were found in educational attainment rates, with 6% of people in the border area and 3% of people living in the west, south-west, and Dublin attaining primary only or no formal education.
Just 24% of people living in Dublin, and 35% of people in the midlands, attained a secondary education.
Around 61% of people in Dublin attained a third-level qualification, while 44% of people in the border and midland regions attained third-level education, said statistician Kevin Healy.