Enrolment rates

Number and proportion of the population aged 6–15 years enrolled in school
Enrolment rates dataset
Notes and caveats

These data include the number of students aged 6–15 years enrolled by state and territory over time.

Key Performance Measure 1(a) Enrolment. Proportion of children aged 6–15 years who are enrolled in school.

Two sources are available to measure this KPM: 

    • On a five-yearly basis, the count of persons aged 6–15 years from the ABS Census of Population and Housing who are reported as attending a school is divided by the total persons in that age group (excluding any item non-responses). From 2019, this is the approved data source for KPM 1(a) Enrolment.
    • On an annual basis, the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) counts the number of students enrolled in all schools in Australia. This is collected through the schools census undertaken in the first week of August.  This count is divided by the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) as at June 30 in that year sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). From 2019, these annual data are no longer reported as a measure of KPM 1(a) Enrolment.

Enrolment rates dataset

Download the Enrolment rates dataset

Notes and caveats

    • Education ministers have agreed that KPM 1(a) Enrolment will be reported at national and state/territory level only. From 2019, data drawn from the five-yearly Australian Census of Population and Housing provide the approved data source for this KPM.
    • The numerator and denominator for the enrolment rate (Census) are both sourced from the five-yearly Australian Census of Population and Housing. Enrolled students are counted within the state of their usual residence rather than the state in which they attend school. Therefore, the rates reported for states and territories will not exceed 100 percent.
    • Because of exclusions in the data, especially for item non-responses, the Census data understate both the actual number of school students and the target population. In addition, the population estimate used from the Census of Population and Housing is the count of persons present in Australia on Census night by their usual place of residence. It excludes usual residents not present in Australia on Census night and missed in the Census. Because of these factors, the only Census data reported is the enrolment rate.
    • Annual enrolment data are drawn from the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) collected in August each year and published in ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia. This count includes students enrolled full-time or part-time in schools located in a state or territory. Jervis Bay enrolments are included with ACT; Norfolk Island enrolments are included with NSW. 'Other territory' enrolments are excluded. This is the numerator of the annual enrolment rate reported.
    • Annual estimates for the resident population are at 30 June each year and are sourced from the most recent release of ABS, Cat. No. 3101.0, Australian Demographic Statistics. These are estimated by projection from the five-yearly Australian Census of Population and Housing and adjusted to include usual residents missed in the Census. As estimates, ERP figures are subject to error and to periodic revision. ERP data may differ from data in previous editions of the National Report on Schooling in Australia and in other publications. The Australian totals include 'other territories' including Jervis Bay and Norfolk Island. However, Jervis Bay and Norfolk Island are excluded from the ACT and NSW totals. Therefore, state and territory ERP numbers will not sum to Australian totals. This is the denominator of the annual enrolment rate reported.
    • NSSC enrolment data for a state or territory include students who reside in other jurisdictions and cross state and territory boundaries to attend school. These students are counted in the population (ERP) of the jurisdiction in which they usually reside, not of the jurisdiction where they attend school. This allows state and territory enrolment rates to exceed 100 per cent, and, in the case of ACT, to significantly exceed 100 per cent.
    • For more information on the differences between Census and ERP population estimates please see Understanding different population counts
    • Categories used in tables and graphs showing "school sector" are "government", "Catholic" and "independent". In some tables, the category "total non-government" (total of Catholic and independent data) is also used.
    • In Schools Australia, and in this publication, Catholic non-systemic schools are counted as Catholic rather than as independent.
    • See Glossary for definition of school sector, and for further information on Census of Population and Housing, ERP and the NSSC.

Sources: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia; ABS, Cat. No. 3101.0, Australian Demographic Statistics (June 2019 release date 19/12/2019, based on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing); ABS, Australian Census of Population and Housing, 2006, 2011 and 2016


This information relates to Part 3 of the National Report on Schooling in Australia.

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