On Campus

20% of older teenagers no longer in school

Canada stands out among OECD countries with young people not continuing education

A newly released study has found that one in five older Canadian teenagers were no longer pursuing a formal education in 2008. The 20 per cent rate among teenagers aged 15 to 19 in Canada was higher than the average of 15 per cent across the 31 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Statistics Canada reports the OECD proportion was down from 20 per cent in 1998, but it remained stable at 20 per cent in Canada. The agency says the proportion of teenagers aged 15 to 19 no longer in school varied from 14 per cent in New Brunswick to 26 in Alberta. The corresponding estimates for the territories ranged from 25 per cent to 34 per cent. StatsCan says employment and earnings prospects increase strongly with educational attainment.

In 2008, the employment rate for Canadians aged 25 to 64 who had not completed high school was 58 per cent, whereas the figure for college and university graduates was 83. Graduates from university programs earned considerably more — 75 per cent more on average — than high school or trade and vocational program graduates. According to the most recent data available, the college graduation rate in Canada, which includes only first-time graduates, was 26 per cent, well above the OECD average rate of 10 per cent.

The Canadian Press

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.