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Elementary–Secondary Education Survey for Canada, the provinces and territories, 2014/2015

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Released: 2016-11-18

Just over 5 million students in Canada were enrolled in public elementary and secondary school programs in 2014/2015. Close to 350,000 students graduated from public high schools in the 2014/2015 school year.

Enrolments in French immersion programs reached more than 400,000, up 4.5% compared with 2013/2014.

Number of public school students stays stable

The total number of students in Canada's public elementary–secondary programs has remained fairly consistent in recent years. The most recent student count at the Canada level was 5,055,987 students in 2014/2015, up 0.1% from the 2013/2014 school year. There were about 5 million students in each year from 2010/2011 to 2014/2015.

Enrolments in French immersion programs continue to rise

Enrolments in French immersion programs totalled 409,893 in 2014/2015, up 4.5% compared with 2013/2014 when 392,430 students were enrolled. Increases in these program enrolments were seen in virtually every province and territory.

Close to 2 million students (1,957,713) were enrolled in regular (core) second language programs in Canada's public elementary and secondary schools in 2014/2015, down slightly (-0.7%) from 2013/2014.

Number of public school graduates declines

In 2014/2015, 345,876 students obtained a high school diploma from a public school in Canada, down 2.1% compared with 2013/2014. Although the number of high school graduates varied slightly between 2010/2011 and 2014/2015, the total count for Canada has been around 350,000 graduates each year.

  Note to readers

The data presented in this release are from the Elementary–Secondary Education Survey (ESES). The ESES is an annual survey that collects aggregate data from each provincial/territorial ministry or department of education. The 2014/2015 ESES, conducted in 2016, collected data for five school years: 2010/2011 to 2014/2015.

The enrolment and graduate counts represent data for programs in Canada's public elementary and secondary schools, as provided by the provinces and territories. The number of students represents those enrolled in elementary–secondary programs at the beginning of the school year (in September or as close as possible thereafter). The number of graduates represents first-time graduates from secondary schools.

Any detailed comparisons between the provinces and territories must be considered with caution because reporting by program category varies by province and territory. While all provinces and territories report enrolments and graduates in regular programs for youth, a few also report students in general programs for adults and/or vocational programs. Data on students enrolled in or graduating from regular programs for youth are available in CANSIM tables 477-0025, 477-0037 and 477-0026.

Enrolments in official languages programs, as reported by the provinces and territories, are presented for students in: French immersion programs, or those with French as the language of instruction for students attending English schools throughout Canada; Regular (core) second language programs, or programs in Canada outside Quebec, where French is taught to students attending English schools as a subject in the regular course offerings, and programs in Quebec, where English is taught to students attending French schools as a subject in the regular course offerings.

Information on first official language programs for the linguistic minority is also collected; that is, enrolments in programs for students from the official language minority of each province or territory (French outside Quebec, English in Quebec). These programs allow children in the linguistic minority to pursue their education in their first official language. Data on language programs are available in CANSIM table 477-0027.

All numbers, including the totals, have been rounded; therefore, sums of the values for the provinces/territories may not match the total counts for Canada. Calculations were done using unrounded values. All data are subject to revision.

Contact information

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