Education Spending By Country – Where Does Canada Rank?

Published January 30, 2014
Credit: US Dept of Education

Credit: US Dept of Education

According to the UN, around 33 percent of the world’s population is involved in academics, accounting for ages 6 through 23.

At $809.6 billion per year, the United States spends more on education than any other country; yet doesn’t pay it’s teachers top dollar (especially in states like Texas and Pennsylvania). After the United States, the UK, Germany, France, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Japan spend more than Canada on education each year. Canada spends approximately $65.4 billion on education per year.

Despite these totals, a closer examination of these annual expenditures indicates that Canada may actually be one of the leaders in education rather than one of the laggards. In terms of annual spending per school-aged child, Canada only trails the United States, the UK and Australia.

The United States invests more than $7,700 in each student, while Canada spends approximately $5,740 per pupil. The literacy rate in Canada is 99 percent, this is on-par with the United States, the UK, Australia, Japan, France and Denmark. Finland is the only country to claim a 100 percent literary rate.

Finland also has the highest math and science test scores of any students in the world. Canada has the second highest science scores behind Finland, and the third highest math test scores– trailing South Korea and Finland. Canada’s math and science scores exceed scores from Japan, Australia, the UK and the United States.

Approximately 24 percent of the adults in Canada possess a college education, ranking No. 1 among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Canada ranks No. 1 among the 37 OECD and G20 countries in terms of higher education among adults age 25 to 64.

Approximately 51 percent of the Canadian people in this age group possess a higher education. Around 56 percent of the adults in Canada age 25 to 34 have obtained secondary education.

Canada ranks first in terms of adult education, but eighth in terms of university education when compared to the other OECD countries. Around 88 percent of the people age 25 to 64 have reached the equivalent level of earning a high school degree in Canada. Approximately 90 percent of the women in Canada have earned a high school degree.

Depending on the level of certification and the territory they work in, teachers in Canada typically earn anywhere from $26,000 to $65,000 per year. Teachers without degrees, or with advanced degrees may certainly identify as outliers on this range of pay.

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