4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/02/2020   
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Students

In 2019

  • there were 3,948,811 students enrolled in schools across Australia, an increase of 54,977 (1.4%) since 2018
  • government schools held the greatest share of enrolments (65.7%), followed by Catholic schools (19.5%) and independent schools (14.8%)

A twenty year view of enrolment shares shows a decline in government shares until 2014. Since then, there has been an overall slight upward trend in government school enrolments, with 2019 shares close to those in 2010.


Graph 1. Proportion of enrolments by school affiliation, Australia, 1999 to 2019

Proportion of enrolments by school affiliation, Australia, 1999 to 2019


Total student enrolments have continued to increase in the five years to 2019, with a 5.3% increase. Independent schools had the largest increase with 8.1%, followed by government schools with 6.1%.

Table 1. Student enrolments by school affiliation, Australia, 2015-2019

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2015-19 (% change)

Government
2,594,830
2,558,169
2,524,865
2,483,802
2,445,130
6.1
Catholic
769,719
765,735
766,870
767,050
765,539
0.5
Independent
584,262
569,930
557,490
547,374
540,304
8.1
TOTAL
3,948,811
3,893,834
3,849,225
3,798,226
3,750,973
5.3


The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland reported the highest annual growth rates of student enrolments in 2019 (2.0%, 1.8%, and 1.7% respectively), while the Northern Territory reported a slight decline (down 0.1%).

These patterns are consistent with changes to the total population aged 5 to 19 years living in these states and territories, with Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory experiencing the highest growth rates for this age group (2.0%, 1.7% and 1.6% respectively), and the Northern Territory experiencing the only decline (down 0.1%) (Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2019, cat. no. 3101.0).

Graph 2. Annual growth rates in student enrolments by state and territory, 2018 to 2019

Annual growth rates in student enrolments by state and territory, 2018 to 2019

In 2019, non-government school enrolment rates were

  • highest in the Australian Capital Territory (38.9%) and Victoria (36.0%)
  • lowest in the Northern Territory (26.3%)
  • lower for students attending schools in very remote areas (13.3%) than for remote areas (21.8%), outer regional areas (25.8%), inner regional areas (33.4%) and major cities (36.4%)

Map 1. Student enrolment counts by state and territory and school affiliation, 2019

A map of Australia showing student enrolment counts by state and territory and school affiliation for 2019