Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.


In our increasingly globalized world, all sectors of society are devoting more effort to seeking the type of knowledge that can be gained through international comparisons.  In Canada, where education is a provincial and territorial responsibility, international comparisons in the field of education are particularly useful if they are made in relation to our provincial/territorial systems, and at the pan-Canadian level. Learning about other educational systems—their structure and performance, and the challenges they face—provides valuable insight and an expanded range of knowledge that can help governments and other decision-making bodies make improvements and better support students.

This report, Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective, 2009 is the first in a new series intended to facilitate the comparison of educational systems in Canada's provinces and territories with those of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. The project was developed in response to a request from the provinces and territories via the Strategic Management Committee of the Canadian Education Statistics Council (CESC).

The Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective series will present annual editions that strive to enlarge the scope of international comparisons. This will be done by reporting indicators for Canada and the provinces/territories that have been harmonized with the definitions and methodologies of the indicators reported annually by the OECD in its publication, Education at a Glance (EAG). Canada has provided information for the EAG indicators since the project began in 1988.

The indicators presented in this 2009 report have been selected based on the availability of data for the provinces and territories, and they align with selected indicators from the 2009 release of Education at a Glance. This year's harmonized indicators capture information on educational attainment, upper secondary graduation, tertiary graduation, the academic performance of students, labour market outcomes, the economic benefits of education, expenditures on education, international students, and transitions to the labour market—for Canada, and its provinces/territories.

Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective, 2009 is published by the CESC as part of its broader endeavour, the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program, or PCEIP. The CESC is a partnership between the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Statistics Canada. The CESC was established in 1989 to improve the quality and comparability of Canadian education data and to provide information that can inform policy development in education.

Sylvie Michaud
Director General
Education, Labour and Income Statistics
Statistics Canada

Jean-Gilles Pelletier
Acting Director General
Council of Ministers of Education,