Families Count 2024: new resource on family structure now available


Families Count 2024 is now available

Sustainable Development Goal 4:

Quality Education


Goal 4 Quality Education

Access to quality education for all members of society is a foundation for creating sustainable development. High-quality education contributes to personal development and prepares people for meaningful participation in the labour market. In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive education can help equip people with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to society’s greatest problems.

Canada’s population is highly educated. Research shows that educational attainment is essential to enhancing individual and family wellbeing, as well as being a key driver of social and economic equality. Education is important not only for those preparing for the world of work through university or college, but also for infants, children, and youth, whose development and wellbeing benefits from access to quality early childhood education and care.

Postsecondary education
  • In 2021, 58% of working-aged Canadians (25 to 64) had post-secondary qualifications—the highest rate among G7 countries. One-third (33%) had a bachelor’s degree or higher, and one-quarter (25%) had a college certificate or diploma or similar credential as their highest level of education (source).
  • In 2021, immigrants and non-permanent residents—who contribute greatly to Canada’s high proportion of degree holders—accounted for 39% of the population with a bachelor’s degree (source).
  • In 2021, 13% of Indigenous people aged 25 to 64 had a bachelor’s degree or higher, including Métis (16%), First Nations people (11%), and Inuit (6%) (vs. 28% among non-Indigenous people) (source).
Secondary school education
  • In 2019–2020, the on-time graduation rate for students in high school (i.e., the percentage of a cohort of young people who complete their high school studies within three years of starting Grade 10) was 84%, with a higher rate among young women (87%) than young men (81%) (source).
  • In 2021, 74% of working-age Indigenous people had completed high school, including 82% of Métis, 70% of First Nations people, and 50% of Inuit (vs. 89% of non-Indigenous people) (source).
Early childhood education and care
  • In 2022, more than half (52%) of children under six in Canada were in licensed or unlicensed childcare. Nearly one-third (31%) of these children were in a daycare centre, preschool, or centre de la petite enfance, 14% received care by a relative other than parent or guardian, 8% were in a family childcare home, and 4% were in a before- or after-school program (source).
  • In 2019, there was a regulated daycentre space available for 27% of children in Canada aged 0 to 5 years, up from 20% in 2008 (source).