Summary Elementary and Secondary School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 2006/2007 to 2010/2011

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Just over 5 million students were enrolled in public elementary and secondary school programs in Canada during the 2010/2011 school year, the lowest enrolment since 2006/2007.

Over the five-year period, the number of young Canadians enrolled in an elementary or secondary public school decreased annually. This trend was consistent with the changes in the size of the school-aged population over this period. In 2006/2007, young Canadians enrolled in public schools represented 15.7% of the total population. By 2010/2011, this proportion fell to 14.7%.

Nationally, regular second language program enrolments decreased by 6.8%. However, Alberta posted a 14.2% increase over the five-year period.

On the other hand, second language immersion program enrolments increased in almost every province and territory at a rate of 12.1% nationally.

In most provinces and territories, there was a marked increase in enrolments in minority language programs over the five-year period, with the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Alberta posting percentage changes greater than or equal to 20%. Minority language programs allow children from the linguistic minority of a province or territory to pursue their education in their first official language.

Between 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, the number of students who obtained a secondary school diploma from a public institution decreased by 1.0%, falling from 352,000 graduates to 349,000.

Over the five-year period, however, there was a 9.5% increase nationally. Ontario posted the largest increase at 16.7%, followed by Nunavut (+14.6%), Quebec (+11.5%), Manitoba (+6.1%), Alberta (+3.5%) and British Columbia (+3.3%). The number of graduates from public institutions remained stable or declined in the other provinces and territories.

There were fewer students per educator in 2010/2011 compared with 2006/2007. The national student-educator ratio in public schools edged down over the five-year period, falling from 14.7 in 2006/2007 to 13.9 in 2010/2011.

The reason for the decrease in the number of students per educator over the five-year period across Canada varied. In some cases, it was because of a decline in student enrolment while in other cases, it was a consequence of an increase in the number of educators/pedagogical support.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number5102.

The report, "Summary Elementary and Secondary School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 2006/2007 to 2010/2011," is now available as part of the Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics: Research Papers (Catalogue number81-595-M, free) series. From the Key resource module of our website choose Publications. The report examines trends in enrolment, graduates and the number of educators as well as basic financial statistics, such as total spending and spending per student, in elementary and secondary schools between 2006/2007 and 2010/2011.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;