Data

Education spending as a share of total government expenditure

What you should know about this indicator

General government expenditure on education (current, capital, and transfers) is expressed as a percentage of total general government expenditure on all sectors (including health, education, social services, etc.). It includes expenditure funded by transfers from international sources to government. General government usually refers to local, regional and central governments.

Limitations and exceptions: Data on government expenditure on education may refer to spending by the ministry of education only (excluding spending on educational activities by other ministries). In addition, definitions and methods of data on total general government expenditure may differ across countries.

Statistical concept and methodology: Expenditure on education, total (% of government expenditure) is calculated by dividing total government expenditure on education by the total government expenditure on all sectors and multiplying by 100. Aggregate data are based on World Bank estimates.

Data on education are collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics from official responses to its annual education survey. All the data are mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to ensure the comparability of education programs at the international level. The current version was formally adopted by UNESCO Member States in 2011. Data on total general government expenditure were previously collected from countries through the annual questionnaire, but are from the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook database since January 2014. Therefore, current data cannot be compared with data in earlier editions.

The reference years reflect the school year for which the data are presented. In some countries the school year spans two calendar years (for example, from September 2010 to June 2011); in these cases the reference year refers to the year in which the school year ended (2011 in the example).

Source
Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
1972–2022
Unit
% of government expenditure

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Education spending as a share of total government expenditure”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-education-in-government-expenditure [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Education spending as a share of total government expenditure” [dataset]. UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved July 17, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-education-in-government-expenditure