Statistics for primary schooling

Statistics on primary schooling compiled in the mid 1970s show an interesting relationship among 10 nations between the state-run and the nonpublic (predominantly religious) schools.

Norway, Sweden, West Germany, and Yugoslavia, for example, showed less than 1 percent of primary school (Grades 1-8) pupils attending nonpublic schools. Italy, England, and the United States recorded approximately 10 percent of the pupils attending nonpublic schools.

Australia registered 20 percent in nonpublic schools; Ontario, Canada, some 40 percent; and the Netherlands a whopping 70 percent. In these three nations, public funds are used to support both religious and independent schools.

This issue of whether nonpublic schools should (or should not) receive public funds is subject to debate in all nations where it is relevant. Some nations, including the US, provide services "in kind."

In order of the numbers of primary pupils served: United States (22 million); West Germany (6 million); England (5 million); Italy (4.5 million); Yugoslavia ( 2.8 million) ; Australia (1.8 million); Ontario, Canada, and the Netherlands (1. 5 million each); Sweden some 700,000; and Norway 400,000.

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