Canadians Going to School in Increasing Numbers to Learn, and Earn, More


Toronto, December 12, 2007 -- Enrolment in postsecondary education continues to rise, as job prospects and earning advantages increase for graduates. This was one of many findings contained in a major report released today by education ministers and Statistics Canada.

Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program is a comprehensive data compendium on the characteristics and functioning of education systems in the provinces and territories. The 2007 report looks at key developments and emerging trends related to the school-age population, the financing of education systems, and the school-to-work transition. PCEIP 2007 is available on the Internet in its entirety, free of charge (;, as well as in hard copy from Statistics Canada.

PCEIP 2007 is published by the Canadian Education Statistics Council (CESC), a partnership between Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

“Education is the most valuable asset that we as individuals, communities, and governments can invest in,” said Dr. Raymond Théberge, CMEC's Director General. “The findings in this report underscore how education can play a pivotal role in making Canada a place where we all want to live — a country of social equity and mobility, as well as economic prosperity.”

“This report provides a wealth of information about education systems in Canada for researchers, students and the public in general,” said Dr. Ivan Fellegi, Chief Statistician of Canada and federal co-chair of CESC.

Other key findings of the report, PCEIP 2007, include


  • The labour market and financial penalties for not completing high school are more pronounced than ever. The unemployment rate in 2006 for high school dropouts (12%) was triple that of university graduates (4%). In the 50-to-54 age group, university-educated workers earned an average of $61,000, more than twice the earnings of workers with less than high school ($29,000).

  • The size of the general school age population is declining, while the composition is increasingly diverse with a growing proportion of Aboriginal students.

  • A significant gender gap in favour of girls and women persists on several fronts in education systems: achievement, enrolment, attainment, and employment as educators.

  • Student access to and use of computers and the Internet is well established in Canada relative to other OECD countries. In 2003, the average number of students per school computer in OECD countries was 15. Canada's average of six students per every school computer is among the most favourable. Eighty-nine per cent of 15-year-olds in Canada had a home Internet connection, ranking second after Sweden (90%).

  • Growing numbers of students are juggling work and studies. In 2005-06, just over half of all students aged 17 to 29 were working while they attended school. At every age in this range, the percentage of students with jobs was higher in 2005-06 than in 1995-96. As well, more of their parents were working full-time in 2001 compared with 10 years earlier.

  • Greatest expansion in postsecondary education is in graduate studies, with a 32% increase in enrolment between 1994-95 and 2004-05. In undergraduate studies, enrolment increased 19% in the same period.

  • Between 1994 and 2004, there was a 64% increase in registered apprentices, and completion rates rose 17%.

  • In 2004, universities generated one third of all research and development (R&D) in Canada, worth $8.4 billion dollars. In all provinces, universities play a comparatively larger role in total R&D activity than do their counterparts in other G-7 countries (except Italy) and leading OECD countries.


CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

- 30 -


Hanca Chang
Media Relations
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
(416) 962-8100, ext. 265

Client Services
Centre for Education Statistics
Statistics Canada