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Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective

Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective 2014 reports on certain aspects of the educational systems in Canada’s provinces and territories and places them in an international context. The indicators presented here align with the definitions and methodologies used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This set of internationally comparable indicators offers statistical information for the following key themes:

  • 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 spending 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.
  • Chapter E, Skills proficiencies of adults is an addition for 2014. The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) assessed the literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills of adults aged 16 to 65. This chapter outlines a selection of results from PIAAC that also draws on respondents’ answers to questions about their education and employment status, as well as various social outcomes such as good health, volunteering, trust in others and trust in government.

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: OECD Indicators.

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 data for all OECD member countries, including Canada.Note 1

The indicators presented in this 2014 edition align with a selection of indicators from the OECD’s 2014 report and were selected based on policy relevance and the availability of data for Canada and its provinces and territories.

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

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


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