SOURCE: The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

June 27, 2017 05:00 ET

Fraser Institute News Release: More than one in eight B.C. students now enrolled in independent schools; highest in Canada

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - June 27, 2017) - Enrolment at independent schools in British Columbia has increased 35 per cent over a 15-year period while public school enrolment declined 12 per cent, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"For their children's education, parents in British Columbia are increasingly choosing options outside the public school system," said Angela MacLeod, a policy analyst with the Fraser Institute's Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education and co-author of Where Our Students are Educated: Measuring Student Enrolment in Canada, 2017.

The study finds that as a share of all K-12 students, enrolment in independent schools increased in all provinces and decreased for public schools everywhere from 2000/01 to 2014/15, the most recent year of available comparable data.

In B.C., the number of independent school students rose 35 per cent to a total of 80,636 students in 2014/15.

In fact, 12.9 per cent -- nearly one in eight -- of all K-12 students in B.C. were enrolled in independent schools in 2014/15 -- the highest percentage in the country. (Quebec has the second-highest rate at 12.3 per cent.)

Over the same period, public school enrolment declined by 12.1 per cent (or nearly 75,000 students).

B.C. -- along with Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec -- partially funds the operating costs of independent schools. The other provinces provide no funding for independent schools.

"While education is funded and delivered differently across the provinces, the evidence is clear -- parents in B.C. are increasingly looking to independent schools for more choice in how their children are educated," MacLeod said.


Angela MacLeod, Policy Analyst, Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education
Fraser Institute

Deani Van Pelt, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

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