Education spending lowest in OECD

Kyodo

Japan’s spending on education as a percentage of gross domestic product in 2008 remained the lowest among 31 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD says.

The ratio of educational expenditure to GDP in 2008 stood at 3.3 percent, the lowest among the 31 of the OECD’s 34 members with comparable data, the group said in a report released Tuesday.

Japan’s ratio was also the lowest in 2005 and 2007, and the second lowest in 2004 and 2006 in the annual OECD studies.

The average ratio of educational expenditure by central and local governments to GDP was 5.0 percent, with Norway ranking highest at 7.3 percent, followed by Iceland at 7.2 percent and Denmark at 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, private spending on education as a proportion of total educational expenditure stood at 33.6 percent in Japan, the third highest among 28 countries with comparable data, following Chile at 41.4 percent and South Korea at 40.4 percent.

By educational level, the proportion of private spending on college education in Japan stood at 66.7 percent of total education spending.