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University graduates. Canada ranks seventh highest among OECD countries

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Canada surpassed 23 of the 30 member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2007 regarding the proportion of its population aged 25 to 64 that had a university degree. 



In Canada, as in other countries, employment rates were consistently higher among people with postsecondary education than among those without. Canada was also among the countries that allocated the highest proportions of gross domestic product (GDP) to education, placing it seventh highest among the OECD countries.

This information comes from a new report comparing provincial and territorial education statistics in Canada with those of countries that belong to the OECD.

In 2007, 25% of Canadian adults aged 25 to 64 had received a university degree or a university certificate above a bachelor's, surpassing 23 other OECD nations. Norway led the way with 32%, followed by the United States (31%). Ontario (28%) and British Columbia (26%) exceeded the Canadian average.

Canada owes its position to the older generations. In 2007, the country ranked fourth for its proportion of adults aged 55 to 64 that held a university degree (21%). However, it was 12th, on par with Japan and the United Kingdom, for its proportion of adults aged 25 to 34 that held a similar degree (29%). Increases in university attainment have been made in Canada across the generations, but to a lesser extent than in other countries.

The vast majority (87%) of Canadians aged 25 to 64 had completed secondary school in 2007. The corresponding OECD average was 70%.

Across Canada, as in other OECD countries, people with postsecondary education demonstrated consistently higher employment rates than those who had not attained more than secondary school graduation.

In 2007, Canada's employment rate for individuals with a high school diploma or the equivalent of a trade or vocational diploma was 77%. For college or university graduates, it was 83%. The corresponding OECD averages were 76% and 85%, respectively. In Canada, the employment rate for those who had not completed high school was 57%, with rates ranging from 38% in Newfoundland and Labrador to 71% in Alberta. The OECD average was 58%.

Canada allocated 6.2% of its GDP to educational institutions in 2005, higher than the average of 5.7% registered for the OECD countries. This placed Canada seventh highest among OECD countries.
© Statistics Canada -


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