The Development of the Educational Structure of Prague

One of the main research aims in the field of urban geography is the evaluation of spatial structure of the city. Results of population censuses make possible to evaluate regularly changes in a distribution of both the physical and the social space of the city. Important but till now not very often applied indicator of social status of the city parts is the educational level of population. Our study is focused on the general features of development of the education in Prague and in the CR, the evaluation of population distribution according to the achieved level if education in Prague and the reasons of changes in this distribution in period 1980 - 1991. This paper is based on data taken from the population census in capital city of Prague, esp. on unpublished data concerning education of population that Czech Statistical Office provided to Chief Architect's Office.
According to the population census in 1991 in Prague permanently live 1 214 174 inhabitants. In this year almost one million Prague's citizens was in the age above fifteen years and they were asked to fill in a type of their attained education. The different types of schools were divided into four basic categories as is shown in the figures 1 and 2. We can compare the proportion of each category in total population of Prague and the Czech Republic in the period 1970 - 1991.
Figures shows a trend of increasing number of the population with higher types of education in the city as well as in the whole republic. We can also compare the structure of the population in Prague and in the Czech Republic in periods of particular censuses. Prague is traditional centre of education, science and research that requires a large number of qualified experts. Significant differences are especially in the proportion of the population with higher types of education. Comparing the proportion of the Prague's population in relevant categories (the Czech Republic = 100 % - see Figure 3), we find out a gradual fall of the weight of Prague in all categories of education. An interesting fact is seen in the case of secondary and higher education when on the one hand we can find out increasing number and percentage of these categories in population of Prague and on the other hand decreasing percentage of Prague's citizens with secondary and higher education in the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, in the capital there is still concentrated more than one fourth of graduated people of CR (and for example 47 % of all graduated people with economic orientation).
The educational level of population depends on various factors. Among the most important factors belong basic demographic features, especially age and sex structure. Although the differences in the educational level among males and females have diminished, nevertheless the lower level of education of females is still an important feature of our society. Significant differences are obvious especially in the proportion of people with higher and primary education (see Tab. 1).
Type of educationife 1970ife 1991

Tab. 1 - Feminity index (proportion of females per 100 males) in particular categories of education in Prague in 1970 and 1991.
Source: Population census 1970 and 1991, Ouředníček (1995).

Important influence on the educational level of society has the age structure. The younger population the higher attained level of education. The proportion of young people with secondary or higher education is growing up. At the same time the process of dying of the oldest generation is occurred. In this age category there is a large proportion of people without any education or with the primary one (it was for example 66 % of females above sixty years in 1991).

ageprimary education (%) university education (%)
25-29 6,9 22,5
30-34 7,826,3
35-39 10,6 23,5
40-44 10,7 19,8
45-49 12,1 20,4
50-54 14,9 19,6
55-59 18,9 19,7
60 and more 32,8 12,2
Tab. 2 - Percentage of population above 15 years with primary and university education in age groups in Prague 1991.
Source: Population census 1991, Ouředníček (1995).

Dividing Prague's territory into 10 districts used in 1991 we can easily recognise main trends in the development of the educational structure of the city. We joined groups of population with secondary and higher education into one category and marked it as percentage of ss+hs. In districts Prague 3, 5 and 9 there was the strongest category of people with only primary education in 1980. On the other hand the percentage of ss+hs in Prague 6 was more than 40 %. During one decade we can occurred the strongest category within all Prague's districts represents the proportion of ss+hs people. Among districts with higher level of education belong Prague 6, 1 and 2. Significant changes took place in the educational level of Prague 5, on the other hand the smallest differences are obvious in Prague 10. In all districts has gradually risen the percentage of ss+hs and has dropped the proportion of people with apprentice and primary school.

Fig. 1 - The educational structure of the population of Prague in 1970, 1980 a 1991.
Source: Population census 1970, 1980 a 1991.

Fig. 2 - The educational structure of the population of the Czech Republic in 1970, 1980 a 1991.
Source: Population census 1970, 1980 a 1991.

Fig. 3 - Percentage of population of Prague in educational categories in the Czech Republic.
Source: Population censuses 1970, 1980 and 1991.

For more detailed analyse we used Prague's cadastral units and we focused on the comparison of the educational structure (percentage of ss+hs) in the period 1980 - 1991. When we look at the cartograms from the beginning and the end of analysed period (Fig. 4 and 5) we can find out significant changes of the educational structure in particular parts of the city. The lowest percentage of ss+hs was recorded in villages located in peripheral belt. Five of them had only 10 % or less of people with ss+hs education. In 1991 there were 8 cadastral units with the percentage of ss+hs under 20 %. In both census years the highest percentage of ss+hs had cadastral units of north-western part of Prague with a location nearby centre and an areas with so called "good addresses". Among these areas belong quarters with good quality of living, often with the high proportion of apartments in family houses, i.e. Střešovice, Dejvice, Hodkovičky, Hradčany, Podolí etc. In 1991 the central area extended this group, too.

Figure 4 - Proportion of the population with secondary and higher education in 1980
Source: Population census 1980

Figure 5 - Proportion of the population with secondary and higher education in 1991
Source: Population census 1991

Figure 6 - The change in proportion of the population with secondary and higher education in the period 1980 - 1991 (1980 = 100 %)
Source: Population census 1980 and 1991

The changes of the educational level were measured by means of two different indicators. Firstly we counted a difference between the percentage in 1980 and 1991. Secondly we relate the proportion of ss+hs in 1980 and 1991, so that percentage ss+hs in 1980 = 100 % (see Fig. 6). Values from the beginning and the end of variation series are mentioned below:

Cadastral unitChanges in % of 1980Cadastral unit Differences between 1991 and 1980
1. Benice396,41. Písnice34,10
2. Malá Chuchle299,52. Petrovice31,39
3. Písnice290,03. Malá Chuchle29,14
4. Křeslice258,74. Stodůlky25,64
5. Miškovice258,05. H. Měcholupy25,53
106. Chodov113,1106. Bohnice4,46
107. Bohnice112,2107. Nebušice3,78
108. Háje111,0108. Troja3,22
109. Lipany108,4109. Hájek2,90
110. Troja108,1110. Lipany1,18

The percentage of ss+hs has not decreased in any cadastral unit in the selected period. When we neglect changes in the smallest units, we can see the most significant changes in the areas with the construction of new houses. Outstanding changes in the educational level of population are occurred in the areas with new housing estates where in-migrated a large number of young people. As we mentioned above the educational structure of Prague 5 went through considerable changes those were connected especially with the construction of huge housing estates, i.e. Barrandov, South-west Town and Řepy. On the right bank of the Vltava River the educational level has increased in area of Modřany - Písnice and Petrovice - Horní Měcholupy - Horní Počernice.
In case of areas with the smallest changes of the educational structure we can recognise two different types. Firstly, there are the housing estates of so called "second generation" (constructed in late 70´s), i.e. North Town, South Town and Lhotka. These areas have very stable social structure of population. Secondly, another areas with only small changes in the proportion of ss+hs represent these ones with the highest educational level recorded in 1980.
The last step of our study was the verification of the results by selected urban districts of Prague. The urban district of centre, traditionally social strong area in Prague 6 (Hradčany, Střešovice and Dejvice) and Prague 4 as a segment of the city with the representative proportion of particular types of urban districts were entered the evaluation. Even on this level it was verified, that considerable changes take place in outer city and periphery with very low recorded level of education at the beginning of the period and also in urban districts with new construction (housing estates). Strong relation between the quality of living and the level of education is significant. The population living in family houses is more stable than others and in these areas there are no considerable changes of the social structure of population.

The main feature in the development of the educational structure in Prague is a gradual rise of the educational level of population. Differences in the educational level between males and females are nowadays smaller than in the past. The trend toward a certain homogeneity is also observable within the spatial structure of the city and in the relation capital city - republic (decreasing proportion of Prague in total number of people with secondary or higher education).
In the areas with high educational level the proportion of the highest categories of education has changed only slightly, on the contrary in the outer city, periphery and other parts with a lower proportion of ss+hs considerable changes in improving of the educational structure are obvious. Among the most stabilised parts of the city, where only small changes in social structure were occurred, belong so called "housing estates of second generation" (i.e. South Town). Most considerable changes are seen in outer city and in newly settled areas. Significant is also improvement of the educational structure of the Prague's centre.


OUŘEDNÍČEK, M. (1992): Vzdělanostní struktura Prahy. [The Educational Structure of Prague]. BA thesis. Department of Social Geography and Regional Development. Charles University of Prague. 35 pp.
OUŘEDNÍČEK, M. (1995): Úroveň vzdělání obyvatel Prahy 1980 - 1991. [The Educational Level of Prague's Population 1980 - 1991]. (manuscript).18 pp.
WAHLA, A. (1988): Geografie vzdělání obyvatelstva. [The Geography of the Education of Population]. SPN. Prague. 189 pp.
Sčítání lidu, domů a bytů 1970, 1980 a 1991. [Population census 1970, 1980 and 1991]. Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). Prague.
Tables 117 OB 2. Special results for urban districts prepared by Czech Statistical Office for Chief Architect's Office. Population censuses 1980 and 1991.

Martin Ouředníček