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Education Indicators in Canada

Released: 2021-05-18

Youth participation in postsecondary education by family characteristics: New data table using integrated census data

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program has released a new data table related to youth participation in postsecondary education. Using the integrated census data from 2011 and 2016, this table shows the proportion of youth aged 19 to 23 who had either attended or completed postsecondary education by May 2016, for each province or territory and by family characteristics measured five years earlier, when the majority of them lived with their parents. These family characteristics include parental educational attainment, parental income, family type, area of residence and immigration status.

Prior research has shown that postsecondary participation is related to various socioeconomic background factors, such as family income, parental education, family composition and community size or location. The strength of the table released today is that it will be updated every five years as new census data become available, allowing researchers and policy makers to see whether gaps in postsecondary participation between youth from various backgrounds are changing over time.

This new table shows that 71% of Canadians aged 19 to 23 had either attended or completed postsecondary education by May 2016. This ranged from 18% in Nunavut to 77% in Quebec. Youth whose parents had higher levels of educational attainment or income, youth who came from families living in population centres, as well as youth whose parents were married or immigrants, generally had higher rates of postsecondary participation than youth who did not have these characteristics.

  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 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.

A population centre has a population of at least 1,000 and a population density of 400 persons or more per square kilometre.

Products

The May 2021 issue of the publication Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (Catalogue number81-582-X) and the publication Education Indicators in Canada: Handbook for the Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (Catalogue number81-582-G) are now available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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