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Education Indicators in Canada

Released: 2020-06-02

Education indicators in Canada: The evolution of college and university participation rates among 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada

A larger share of Canadians aged 18 to 24 were attending university or college in 2018/2019 than at the turn of the century.

A new infographic highlighting the Then and now: Participation rates in college and university studies of 18- to 24-year-olds based on Labour Force Survey data is now available.

The participation rate of Canadians aged 18 to 24 in university or college was up by 29% from the 2000/2001 to the 2018/2019 academic years. This increase was attributable to a larger share of young Canadians going to university (+56%), as the participation rate at the college level was relatively stable.

The university participation rate increased in eight provinces, led by British Columbia (+84%), Alberta (+69%) and Ontario (+58%). In contrast, college participation rates decreased by just over one-third in Alberta (-35%) and by around one-quarter in British Columbia (-26%). Quebec (+17%) was the only province to report an increase in college participation rates over the same time period. Next spring's publication will provide data showing college and university participation rates in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  Note to readers

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program is an ongoing initiative of the Canadian Education Statistics Council, a partnership between Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education (Canada) that provides a set of statistical measures on education systems in Canada.


The June 2020 issue of the publication Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (Catalogue number81-582-X) is now available.

The publication Education Indicators in Canada: Handbook for the Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (Catalogue number81-582-G) is also available. This handbook provides general descriptions for each indicator, explains the major concepts discussed, and includes definitions, as well as an overview of the methodology, limitations and data sources.

Contact information

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