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Public investment in education

Investment by percentage of GDP and level of government

  • The most recent data show that public investment in education1 reached 6.23% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Brazil in 2018. Of this amount, 0.77 percentage points (pp) were directed to early childhood education, 2.9 pp to elementary schools, 1.16 pp to high schools, and 1.41 pp to higher education
  • High schools and higher education grew the most in terms of percentage of GDP since 2000: by 0.55 pp and 0.48 pp respectively
  • These proportions of GDP2 in 2018 represented an investment of R$436 billion. Funding for early childhood, elementary, and high school education accounted for 77.4% of the total
  • Disregarding investment in early childhood education3, before transfers between the different levels of government, 30.4% of investment came from the federal government, 36.1% from states, and 33.5% from municipalities in 2018. After government transfers, the proportions were 25.4%, 36.9%, and 37.7% respectively
  • Elementary and high school3 was mostly funded by states and municipalities (86.2%), while higher education was primarily funded by the federal government (78.3%) before transfers
  • About half of federal investment in elementary and high school is transferred to states and municipalities

Notes (1) In addition to direct investment, total public investment includes transfers to the private sector, such as scholarships, student loans, and others (2) GDP in 2018 GDP was R$7.004 trillion (IBGE) (3) Available data do not include investment in early childhood education by level of government (4) The total may differ from the sum of the parts due to rounding.

 Sources INEP/MEC, IBGE, Education at a Glance 2021 (OCDE). Prepared by the FAPESP Studies and Indicators Team (DPCTA)