According to a newly released report by the General Authority of Statistics (GaStat), in 2017 around 1.3 million Saudis discontinued their education. 

The survey was conducted last year with students aged 6 to 24 years old, said Taysir Al-Mufrij, a spokesperson for GaStat, according to Saudi Gazette.

If non-Saudi nationals are taken into consideration, the number of dropouts amounted to 2.5 million people.

Of these, 279,794 were based in Riyadh, 251,913 in the Eastern Province, 267,058 in Makkah, 115,747 in Asir and 89,456 of them were in Jazan.

A total of 187,445 Saudi women left their education after getting either married or pregnant. 

According to Saudi Gazette, nearly 21,000 Saudis dropped out after failing academically, 415,264 did so to pursue a career, 203,463 to support their families and 203,951 were not accepted in an educational institute. 

The reasons for giving up their education differs between men and women living in the kingdom. 

Approximately 27.7 percent of men wanted to "postpone their education to another time, 19.6% couldn’t continue education due to illnesses and disabilities, 17.4% failed to get admission in an educational institute, 2.3% could not find transportation to attend classes."

As for women, "11.2 percent did not continue their education as they had to support their families, 19.4 percent couldn’t continue education due to illnesses and disabilities, only 2.4% women discontinued their education because they had to pursue a career."

A breakdown of number of Saudi nationals pursuing different levels of education

According to the General Authority of Statistics in the kingdom, 3,681,166 Saudi nationals are enrolled in primary school, 1,614,054 in an intermediate level of education and 1,503,222 are pursuing a secondary level of education.