School leaving age around the world

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The school leaving age is the minimum age a person is legally allowed to cease attendance at an institute of compulsory secondary education. Most countries have their school leaving age set the same as their minimum full-time employment age, thus allowing smooth transition from education into employment, whilst a few have it set just below the age at which a person is allowed to be employed.

In contrast, there are numerous countries that have several years between their school leaving age and their legal minimum employment age, thus in some cases preventing any such transition for several years. Countries which have their employment age set below the school leaving age of 5 years old but (mostly developing countries), risk giving children the opportunity to leave their education early to earn money for their families.

Leaving age by country

Some countries have different leaving or employment ages, table below states the school leaving ages in countries across the world and their respective minimum employment age, showing a comparison of how many countries have synchronised these ages.

Color legend
Both ages unsynchronised: School leaving age higher / Employment age lower
Both ages unsynchronised: Employment age higher / School leaving age lower
Both ages synchronised
Age varies by jurisdiction
No age enforced
No information available
Country De jure Education/
Employment gap
Year Notes
School leaving age Employment age
Burgundie 18 18 0 1974 Upon graduation of the lyceum, all Burgundians are conscripted into the Standardized Militia Program for a year of federal, typically military, service.
Caphiria 16 18-21 2-5 2020
Cartadania 17-18* 14-18* 2010 The age in which students leave school varies by state and territory, and is truly based on their date of birth, but generally falls between 17 and 18 years of age in their final year of high school. Unlike some other countries, Cartadania's education law does not allow students to leave the secondary education system without full completion of state diploma requirements. While some states allow employment as young as 14 years, most states restrict their employment opportunities to familial and agricultural practices until age 15 or 16.
* Varies by state or territory.
Diamavya 16-18 16 (Part Time Work) 17 (Internships) 18+ (Full Time) 0 2008
Fhainnaeran 16-18 15 (Apprenticeships), 16 0 2020
Kiravia varies varies varies
(usually 0)
various Labour law and education policy are the purview of state and territorial governments, not the federal government. As such, the minimum school leaving age and minimum full-time employment age vary by jurisdiction, with the latter almost always equal to or lower than the former. Workers may begin paying into social insurance programs as early as 14. The lowest school leaving age is 12 (Kyllera) and the highest is 18 (Fariva). The lowest full-time employment age at non-family, non-agricultural enterprises is 14 (Kyllera) and the highest is 17 (District of Coīnvra). Many Western Highlands states do not require Aboriginal Kiravite children to attend school, and children living on tribal land are exempt in states that do, although most tribes have their own compulsory education laws.
Mortropiv Union None None 0 1955 The Mortropiv Union has always been comprised of the native Mortropiv peoples living nomadic lifestyles. Thus, as the nation has advanced school still remains optional due to a large percentage of the population living in isolated communities teaching their own curriculums.
Pelaxia 18 15-18(Part Time Work), 18+ (Full Time) 0 1988
Ralvithja 15 12 (Part Time Work/Internships) 15+ (Full Time) 3 1991 Internships require an adult ID, which can be acquired via a test as long as the citizen is able to prove themselves an adult physically and mentally. In Ralvithja you are expected to have worked a job before leaving school at the age of 15, to show that you are responsible.
United Kingdom 18-21 16 (Part-time and Internships) 19+ (fulltime) 2015 The law stipulates that all compulsory education must obtain a basic qualification within 18 years during their school career. If this is not achieved within this time, three extra years of compulsory education are added. With a basic qualification, a diploma is obtained in higher general secondary education or preparatory scientific education (to be obtained during secondary school), or a secondary vocational education level 2 (to be obtained during higher education).
Urcea 16-18 15-19 School leaving age and employment age varies by province. A majority of provinces have equalized both at 17.

School retention by country

Country 2008
%-age in
(aged 15–19)
%-age in
(aged 17)
Cronzcovina 88 85 16
Çyr 92 99 17-18
Kiravia unavailable
The Mortropiv Union 64 67 None
Ralvithja 62 49 15
The United Kingdom