It's flirting with disaster to generalize about the millions of Canadians known as students. Still, we love doing exactly that. Whether we think they're lazy, disrespectful, coddled, privileged, hard-working, or our best hope for the future, we focus an enormous amount of time, money, energy and worry educating them.
It is the perennial job of Statistics Canada to collect, dissect and analyze all manner of data about the people who live in Canada. So it comes as no surprise that the agency has frequently shone its statistical spotlight on students of all ages to better tell us just who they are.
So here's a by-the-numbers look at some of what Statistics Canada has found about the young and the learned:
1,066,000 — Number of students enrolled in Canadian universities in 2007-08.
57.7 — Percentage of undergrads who were women.
79 — Percentage of visible-minority immigrant 15-year-olds who intended to get a university degree (2003 study).
57 — Percentage of Canadian-born, non-visible minority 15-year-olds who intended to get a university degree.
$4,724 — Average tuition fee for full-time undergrads in 2008-09.
$20,400 — Average debt among 2005 bachelor's grads with student debt, two years after graduating.
40 — Percentage of students who got student loans in 2000 who had paid them off five years later.
1, 2, 3 — Ranking by number of students enrolled of social and behavioural sciences, business, and the humanities as fields of study in university.
$500 — Median expenditure on post-secondary textbooks in 2007.
5.2 million — Total number of students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools .