Education is a topic that provides information about the education level, training and recent school attendance of residents of Canada. It is considered an important socioeconomic outcome that can affect employment, income and quality of life.

Examples of reported data usesFootnote1


Education data are used in support of federal legislative and regulatory commitments, such as the Employment Equity Act and regulations, Employment Insurance Act and regulations and the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec Act.

Examples of provincial acts for which Census Program data on education were cited include Alberta's Postsecondary Learning Act and Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act, Manitoba's Public Schools Act, Ontario's French Language Services Act and New Brunswick's Employment Development Act.

Resource allocation and service delivery

These data are used for resource allocation and/or service delivery in regards to Health Canada's Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative and Industry Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grants and Scholarships program, among other applications.

From the input received during consultation, education data crossed with other topics are consulted at the provincial level for postsecondary education funding, including capital projects, for decision-making related to student financial assistance, and figure in population/enrolment projections required for funding submissions. In Saskatchewan, Census Program data are used for resource allocation, service delivery and policy development and planning in relation to adult basic education, initiatives geared towards older workers and skills training. This information is also referred to for Alberta's Affordability Framework for Post-Secondary Education and the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.

At the local government level, Census Program data support resource allocation for community plans such as Community Fit for Children with Ontario Early Years, social services delivery, regional human services plans and service planning.

Planning, development, monitoring, evaluation and performance reports

Within the federal government, these data are important for carrying out several programs including the Canada Student Loans Program, Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan. Examples of federal uses of these data for evaluation and/or performance reporting include the Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario (FEDNOR) Community Futures Program and employment equity policy administered by the Public Service Commission.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada refers to education data for evaluation policy, for benchmarking and to monitor gaps related to education, economic participation and development of Aboriginal populations, a priority for this department. They are used for policy and program development related to labour market and skills development such as for Employment and Social Development Canada's Youth Employment Strategy. Canadian Heritage uses them for the Youth Take Charge program and the Aboriginal Peoples' Program among others, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation relies on school attendance data to calculate the core housing need of student-maintained households.

At the provincial and territorial level, education data crossed by other Census Program topics serve a wide variety of applications. These data are used to establish education attainment targets, monitor outcomes for both of the general population and various target groups, such as immigrants, for benchmarking, for example as it pertains to planning labour market programs and policies, decision-making related to tuition policy and job-related training, programming geared to labour market demand and integration, as well as for strategic planning and accountability.

Data from this Census Program topic support British Columbia's Aboriginal Postsecondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan, Campus Alberta Planning Framework and Building Vibrant Learning Communities and Living Literacy: A Literacy Framework for Alberta's Next Generation Economy. They are used by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to determine whether there is a concentration of a given specialization or industry in a particular geographic area, and by Newfoundland and Labrador for their Youth Attraction Strategy.

At the local level, these data inform job creation, are an input in regional transportation models, and are included in Calgary's and Victoria's Vital Signs reports which present quality of life indicators. They are also used for planning municipal services, program development, land-use policy work and official plan analysis.

Research and other uses

These data are used federally for research into compensation and benefits, by provincial governments, organizations representing seniors and the medical community to understand social determinants of health and, by teachers for insight when upgrading education qualifications.

Census Program questions on education are used to ascertain the educational attainment of urban and rural residents of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal backgrounds and of immigrants. The Yukon College analyses these data to forecast the demand for postsecondary programming and academic upgrading. Non-government organizations refer to them to develop training programs, determine the need for adult education and for recruitment.

Business is interested in how the aging workforce is adapting to change for hiring purposes and uses the data for modelling labour market supply and demand, GIS applications as well as for advertising decisions (i.e., medium of communication).

Other examples include:

  • Inform the work of the Amaujaq National Centre for Inuit Education
  • Produce sector and First Nations community profiles.
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