Education in Canada

Joined Commonwealth: 1931 (Statute of

Population: 34,838,000 (2012)

GDP p.c. growth: 1.3% p.a. 1990–2012

UN HDI 2012: World ranking 11

Public spending on education was 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2010.

The provincial and territorial ministers of education from across Canada set out their vision to address the education needs and aspirations of Canadians in Learn Canada 2020, comprising the four pillars of lifelong learning: early childhood learning and development; elementary and secondary schooling; post-secondary education; and adult learning and skills development.

Education policy varies with province but the period of compulsory education generally starts at the age of six. Most primary and secondary schooling is publicly funded. The school year starts in September.

Post-secondary education expanded rapidly during the 1980s and 1990s; women have shown the faster increase, and now outnumber men. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada represents 98 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university-degree-level colleges (2013). There is virtually no illiteracy among people aged 15-24. There are more than 1,000 public libraries, containing more than 70 million volumes.