Education expenditure: Social Indicators page

Published Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trends in spending since the late 1970s and international comparisons. Updated to include spending figures published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2014 and Education at a Glance 2014

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UK education expenditure increased consistently from the late 1990s to reach 5.6% in 2009-10 and 2010-11; the highest rates since  the mid 1970s.

Substantial increases in education spending as a proportion of GDP occurred in the early 1990s and the decade from 1999-00.

Spending has increased in real terms in most years since 1979-80.  The only periods where it fell for two or more consecutive years were in the mid-1980s, mid-1990s and early 2010s.

Education and training expenditure was 5.9% of GDP in 2009-10. Real terms cuts 2012-13 took it back to 5.2%.
Spending on both measures increased in real terms in 2013-14, but fell, slightly, as a proporiton of GDP.

International comparisons

The OECD ranked the UK 11th highest out of 29 states on total education expenditure as a percentage of GDP in 2011.

At 6.4% of GDP (on the OECD measure), total public and private UK expenditure on education was just above the OECD weighted average of 6.2%.

Commons Briefing papers SN02631

Author: Paul Bolton

Topics: Further education, Higher education, Schools

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