Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
EDUCATION INDICATORS: An International Perspecetive


Indicator 42: Current Public Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) is an aggregate measure of the value of goods and servicesor national incomeproduced in a country. The percentage of GDP spent on education from public sources corresponds to the share of a country's income that the public sector invests in education. Variations in this measure across countries reflect differences in national priorities and commitment to education, but these variations are also influenced by the share of students in the population. This indicator is not a measure of total investment in education, since private educational expenditures account for at least 20 percent of total educational spending in some countries (e.g., the United States and Japan).

  • In 1992, the United States devoted approximately 5 percent of its GDP to public spending on education. Among the G-7 countries, only Canada devoted a larger share of GDP to public spending
    on education than did the United States. At 3.4 and 2.7 percent, respectively, the former West Germany and Japan spent the smallest shares of GDP on public spending on education of all the countries reported (G-7 and other).

  • The United States also devoted a larger share of GDP (1.2 percent) to public funding of higher education than did all of the other G-7 countries except Canada (2.4 percent). Japan devoted a considerably smaller share of GDP to funding higher education (0.3 percent) than did all other countries reported (G-7 and other).


Table 42: Current public expenditure on education* as a percentage of GDP, by level of education and country: 1992


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
			Primary and	Higher
Country			Preprimary	secondary	education	Total
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G-7
Canada			-		4.4		2.6		7.0
France			0.6		3.4		0.8		4.8
West Germany (former)	0.2		2.0		0.8		3.0
Italy			-		3.3		0.6		3.9
Japan			0.1		2.3		0.3		2.7
United Kingdom		-		3.9		1.0		4.9
United States		0.2		3.5		1.2		4.9
Other	
Australia		0.0		3.1		1.6		4.7
Austria			-		3.3		1.0		4.3
Belgium			-		3.4		0.9		4.3
Czech Republic		-		2.7		0.6		3.3
Denmark			0.9		4.1		1.1		6.1
Finland			0.6		4.5		1.8		6.9
Hungary			0.8		3.9		1.3		6.0
Ireland			0.4		3.5		1.0		4.9
Netherlands		0.3		2.9		1.3		4.5
New Zealand		-		3.2		2.0		5.2
Norway			0.7		4.8		2.0		7.5
Spain			0.3		3.0		0.7		4.0
Sweden			1.1		4.5		1.0		6.6
Switzerland		-		3.8		1.0		4.8
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Not available. *Undistributed expenditures are not included.

NOTE: See supplemental note to Indicator 42 for details on indicator calculation for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the former West Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States and for information regarding the methodology used for adjusting inflation rates.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Center for Educational Research and Innovation, International Indicators Project, 1995.


Figure 42: Current public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP, by education level and G-7 country:* 1992

Figure 42

*Countries are sorted in descending order by total current public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Center for Educational Research and Innovation, International Indicators Project, 1995.

See Supplemental Notes on Figure and Tables.


[Indicator 41] Previous Table of Contents Next[Indicator 43]
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.