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Education Spending and Public Student Enrolment in Canada, 2016 Edition

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Education Spending and Public Student Enrolment in Canada

Summary

  • To accurately understand education spending, both enrolment changes and the effects of price changes must be considered. For Canada as a whole, over the last decade (2004-05 to 2013-14), the increase in per-student spending in public schools is 25.8% (once adjustments have been made for inflation). Specifically, per-student education spending in public schools, accounting for changes in prices, increased from $9,876 to $12,427 between 2004-05 and 2013-14.
  • Saskatchewan saw the largest increase in per-student spending in public schools (after adjusting for inflation). That province experienced a 39.0% increase—from $10,476 in 2004-05 to $14,562 in 2013-14. The smallest increase was in British Columbia (18.3%). Per-student spending in public schools in all 10 provinces increased over this period (after accounting for the effects of inflation).
  • In aggregate, Canada increased education spending in public schools by $12.7 billion more between 2004-05 and 2013-14 than was necessary to account for enrolment and price changes. If per-student spending in public schools had remained constant over this period, the aggregate amount of education spending in public schools in 2013-14 would have been 20.3% lower.
  • Provincially, Saskatchewan recorded the largest difference (28.2%) between the actual spending on public schools and what would have been required to account for price and enrolment changes. The smallest difference between actual spending on public schools and what was necessary to account for inflation and enrolment changes was in British Columbia (14.6%).

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