Education at a Glance

OECD Indicators, 2004 Edition

Release Date: January 1, 2005

Across OECD countries, governments are seeking policies to make education more effective while searching for additional resources to meet the increasing demand for education. The 2004 edition of Education at a Glance enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries’ performances. It provides a rich, comparable, and up-to-date array of indicators on the performance of education systems that represents the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally.

The focus of the 2004 edition is on the quality of learning outcomes, the policy levers and contextual factors that shape these outcomes, and the broader private and social returns that accrue to investments in education. For the first time, the publication also provides indicators on how the labor market returns to education have evolved over time as education systems have expanded.

Indicators are not limited to aggregate country performance, but also address variations within countries. This allows for an examination of equity issues in the provision and outcomes of education, on dimensions such as gender, age, socioeconomic background, type of institution, or field of education.

With thematic organization and in-depth background information accompanying the tables and charts, this publication is a valuable resource for anyone interested in analyzing education systems across countries.

The data underlying the OECD education indicators are accessible online at