High school diploma holders are a growing demographic in Canada, with a growing number of Canadians opting to finish their education before turning 21, and a growing percentage of them also completing postsecondary studies before reaching the age of 25.

In 2019, 23 per cent of all Canadians aged 18 and older were aged 16 to 24 and 14 per cent were 25 and older, according to the federal Statistics Canada’s 2016 Survey of Labour and Income.

About a quarter of those aged 18 to 24 also completed high school, according the latest federal census data.

The survey found the majority of Canadians aged 15 to 24 were still in school when they turned 18, but fewer than one in five completed postsecondary schooling.

But the gap between those with completed post secondary schooling and those without has narrowed.

For instance, 16 per cent said they were still studying when they were 15, while 21 per cent still were at the same level.

That means about one in three high school graduates are now in postsecondary education.

While the percentage of adults with postsecondary degrees is still increasing, the share of Canadians in the workforce is shrinking.

The share of those with post secondary education rose by 7 per cent between 2015 and 2016, while the share who have jobs has dropped by about 8 per cent.

Among people with bachelor’s degrees, the increase in the share with a postsecondary degree is nearly five per cent since 2015, while for those with high school diploma the decrease is only one per cent, according a report released Wednesday by the Canada Council on the Arts and Sciences.

About half of the Canadian population has some post secondary educational attainment, and about a quarter have completed post-secondary schooling, the report said.

It also found the share choosing to finish school before turning 18 rose by 4 per cent in the last decade.

The proportion of Canadians who are aged 15 and older who are still enrolled in school is the lowest it’s been in a decade, according an annual report released in March.

It was the lowest level since the 2011 census, which found the population aged 15-24 was just under 47 per cent and the labour force aged 15 years and over was 47 per to 50 per cent more than it was two decades earlier.

With files from The Canadian Press