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Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective

This report, Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective, 2013, is the fifth in a series that reports on certain aspects of the educational systems in Canada’s provinces and territories in an international context. A series of indicators that have been developed to align with the definitions and methodologies used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is presented. This set of internationally comparable indicators, which offer statistical information for several key themes, is organized by chapter:

Chapter A, The output of educational institutions and the impact of learning, profiles educational attainment among the adult population. It also presents information on graduation and completion rates at the upper secondary level, and on relationships between educational attainment and labour market outcomes.

Chapter B, Financial resources invested in education, focuses on expenditure on education. This information is presented both in terms of expenditure per student and expenditure in relation to the overall amount of resources as measured by GDP. The proportions of current and capital expenditures are also outlined.

Chapter C, Access to education, participation and progression, explores the extent of international student enrolment in college and university programs in Canada and its provinces and territories, and how this has changed over time.  Several aspects of the transition from education to the labour force are examined, including the extent to which young adults are neither employed nor in education.

Chapter D, The learning environment and organization of schools, reports on the amount of time students must, in principle, spend in class as established by public regulations. It also presents information on key aspects of working environments for elementary and secondary school teachers: teaching time (as determined by policy) in the context of total working time, and salary.

International indicators

Canada has participated in the OECD’s Indicators of Education Systems (INES) programme since the project’s inception in 1988. INES includes a set of indicators that allows comparisons of the education systems of its member countries. The OECD publishes the results annually in Education at a Glance.

Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective was developed to expand upon Canada’s participation in INES and to broaden the Canadian statistical picture by providing comparable statistics for Canada’s provincial/territorial systems of education. It is a product of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (PCEIP), and is considered a companion report to the OECD’s Education at a Glance, which presents complete data for all OECD member countries, including Canada.Note 1

The harmonized indicators presented in this 2013 edition align with a selection of indicators from the OECD’s 2013 edition of Education at a Glance, and they were selected based on their policy relevance and the availability of data for Canada and its provinces and territories.

The definitions and methodologies agreed upon in developing the harmonized indicators were used to produce the data for Canada and the provinces/territories, and those definitions and methodologies may differ from those used in a particular province/territory. Consequently, the numbers presented in this report may differ from those published independently by the provinces/territories. Data for Canada and its provinces and territories are presented along with the most recent OECD averages.

About the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (PCEIP) is an ongoing initiative of the Canadian Education Statistics Council: a partnership between Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. More information about PCEIP, including the full line of products, is available on the Statistics Canada Web site at and the Web site of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada at


  1. The 2013 version of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators, which presents the latest statistics for the individual OECD member countries, is available free on the OECD Web site:
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