Government; expenditure on education and student grants, loans since 1900

Government; expenditure on education and student grants, loans since 1900

Periods Total government expenditure (million euros) Government expenditure on education Total government exp. on education (million euros) Government expenditure on education (Pre-)primary education Total (pre-)primary education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Secondary education Total secondary education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Tertiary education Total tertiary education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Total student grants, loans and allow... (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Secondary education Total secondary education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Tertiary education Total tertiary education (million euros) Total government expenditure as % of GDP (% of GDP)
1900 12 11 7 2 2 . . . 1.2
1910 21 22 14 4 4 . . . 1.6
1920 81 81 53 14 14 . . . .
1930 119 119 80 27 12 . . . 3.5
1939 90 90 53 27 10 . . . 2.7
1950 252 249 139 77 33 2 . . 2.7
1960 909 890 379 334 177 19 1 17 4.3
1970 3,683 3,593 1,214 1,313 1,066 90 12 77 6.3
1980 11,306 10,792 3,663 4,024 3,105 514 167 347 6.9
1990 13,530 11,491 3,818 4,182 3,491 2,038 898 1,140 5.6
1995 15,679 13,763 4,616 5,314 3,832 1,916 753 1,163 4.8
2000 20,832 18,416 6,651 7,383 4,382 2,416 1,001 1,416 4.6
2005 28,368 25,314 9,473 10,141 5,701 3,053 1,114 1,939 5.1
2010 35,086 31,287 10,943 13,149 7,194 3,799 1,152 2,647 5.5
2015 36,903 32,591 10,688 13,902 8,001 4,312 1,195 3,117 5.3
2016 38,814 33,041 10,707 14,200 8,134 5,774 1,516 4,258 5.4
2017 38,200 33,692 10,999 14,331 8,362 4,507 1,149 3,358 5.2
2018* 41,429 35,267 11,582 14,823 8,862 6,162 1,773 4,389 5.4
Source: CBS.
Explanation of symbols

Table description


This table gives an overview of government expenditure on regular education in the Netherlands since 1900. All figures presented have been calculated according to the standardised definitions of the OECD.

Government expenditure on education consists of expenditure by central and local government on education institutions and education. The government finances schools, colleges and universities. It pays for research and development conducted by universities. Furthermore it provides student grants and loans, allowances for school costs, provisions for students with a disability and child care allowances to households as well as subsidies to companies and non-profit organisations.

Total government expenditure is broken down into expenditure on education institutions and education on the one hand and government expenditure on student grants and loans and allowances for school costs to households on the other. If applicable these subjects are broken down into pre-primary and primary education, special needs primary education, secondary education, senior secondary vocational and adult education, higher professional education and university education. Data are available from 1900. Figures for the Second World War period are based on estimations due to a lack of source material.

The table also includes the indicator government expenditure on education as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). This indicator is used to compare government expenditure on education internationally. The indicator is compounded on the basis of definitions of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). The indicator is also presented in the StatLine table Education; Education expenditure and CBS /OECD indicators. Figures for the First World War and Second World War period are not available for this indicator due to a lack of reliable data on GDP for these periods.

The statistic on Education spending is compiled on a cash basis. This means that the education expenditure and revenues are allocated to the year in which they are paid out or received. However, the activity or transaction associated with the payment or receipt can take place in a different year.

Statistics Netherlands published the revised National Accounts in June 2018. Among other things, GDP has been adjusted upwards as a result of the revision. The revision has not been extended to the years before 1995. In the indicator 'Total government expenditure as % of GDP', a break occurs between 1994 and 1995 as a result of the revision.

Data available from: 1900

Status of the figures:
Data recorded in the last available year are provisional figures.

Changes on 19 December 2019:
The provisional figures for 2018 have been added, the figures for 2017 have been adjusted from provisional to definite.

When will new figures be published?
New figures are published in November/December of the following year.

Description topics

Total government expenditure
Government expenditure on education institutions and government expenditure with regard to education on households, companies and non-profit organisations.
Both central and local government spend on education institutions: lump sum financing, expenditure on contract research and operating costs.
The government subsidises education participation through allowances for school costs and student grants and loans. These compensate students or their parents entirely of in part for the costs of tuition fees for school and college, books and materials, public transport and the cost of living. Students with a disability receive government allowances for provisions that enable them to participate in regular education. The government also provides child care allowances to households and subsidies to preschools and day care institutions. Part of it is related to the educational component of the activities of three-year-olds in preschool and day care and is counted as expenditure on education. The government also gives subsidies and tax benefits to companies. These are subsidies for providing transport for pupils and subsidies and tax benefits that partly compensate companies for the costs of supervising trainees and apprentices at various levels (vmbo, mbo and hbo) that combine learning with work experience. The transport for pupils is intended for pupils in primary or secondary education (including special needs education) who cannot travel independently because of a disability or the distance between home and school.
Government expenditure on education
Government expenditure on education institutions and government expenditure with regard to education on households, companies and non-profit organisations.
Both central and local government spend on education institutions: lump sum financing, expenditure on contract research and operating costs.
Students with a disability receive government allowances for provisions that enable them to participate in regular education. The government also provides child care allowances to households and subsidies to preschools and day care institutions. Part of it is related to the educational component of the activities of three-year-olds in preschool and day care and is counted as expenditure on education. The government also gives subsidies and tax benefits to companies. These are subsidies for providing transport for pupils and subsidies and tax benefits that partly compensate companies for the costs of supervising trainees and apprentices at various levels (vmbo, mbo and hbo) that combine learning with work experience. The transport for pupils is intended for pupils in primary or secondary education (including special needs education) who cannot travel independently because of a disability or the distance between home and school.
Government’s allowances for school costs and student grants and loans are not included here.
Total government exp. on education
Total government expenditure on education.
Government expenditure on education institutions and government expenditure with regard to education on households, companies and non-profit organisations.
Both central and local government spend on education institutions: lump sum financing, expenditure on contract research and operating costs.
Students with a disability receive government allowances for provisions that enable them to participate in regular education. The government also provides child care allowances to households and subsidies to preschools and day care institutions. Part of it is related to the educational component of the activities of three-year-olds in preschool and day care and is counted as expenditure on education. The government also gives subsidies and tax benefits to companies. These are subsidies for providing transport for pupils and subsidies and tax benefits that partly compensate companies for the costs of supervising trainees and apprentices at various levels (vmbo, mbo and hbo) that combine learning with work experience. The transport for pupils is intended for pupils in primary or secondary education (including special needs education) who cannot travel independently because of a disability or the distance between home and school.
Government’s allowances for school costs and student grants and loans are not included here.
(Pre-)primary education
Pre-primary education, primary general education, private education at this level and special needs primary education.
Total (pre-)primary education
Pre-primary education, primary general education, private education at this level and special needs primary education.
Secondary education
Secondary general education, senior secondary vocational education (mbo), adult education and private education at these levels for students of about 12 years and older.
Total secondary education
Secondary general education, senior secondary vocational education (mbo), adult education and private education at these levels for students of about 12 years and older.
Tertiary education
Higher professional education, university education and private education at these levels. Here, tertiary education includes research and development.
Total tertiary education
Higher professional education, university education and private education at these levels. Here, tertiary education includes research and development.
Student grants, loans and allowance
Consists of the allowances for school costs and student grants and loans.
The allowance for school costs compensate entirely or in part for the costs of education. These contributions are primarily for (parents of) students older than 18 in secondary or students younger than 18 in senior secondary vocational education or basic secondary education for adults. This allowance does not have to be repaid to the government.
Student grants and loans are meant to compensate students of 18 years and over in the school-based track of senior secondary vocational education (mbo-bol) and students in higher education for the costs of education. Student grants can either be distributed as a gift or a loan.
Total student grants, loans and allow...
Total student grants, loans and allowances.
Consists of the allowances for school costs and student grants and loans.
The allowance for school costs compensate entirely or in part for the costs of education. These contributions are primarily for (parents of) students older than 18 in secondary or students younger than 18 in senior secondary vocational education or basic secondary education for adults. This allowance does not have to be repaid to the government.
Student grants and loans are meant to compensate students of 18 years and over in the school-based track of senior secondary vocational education (mbo-bol) and students in higher education for the costs of education. Student grants can either be distributed as a gift or a loan.
Secondary education
Secondary general education, senior secondary vocational education (mbo), adult education and private education at these levels for students of about 12 years and older.
Total secondary education
Secondary general education, senior secondary vocational education (mbo), adult education and private education at these levels for students of about 12 years and older.
Tertiary education
Higher professional education, university education and private education at these levels. Here, tertiary education includes research and development.
Total tertiary education
Higher professional education, university education and private education at these levels. Here, tertiary education includes research and development.
Total government expenditure as % of GDP
Total government expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP. This indicator is set by OECD for international comparison of government expenditure on education. In this indicator only expenditure is included. In accordance with the definitions of the OECD, student loans are included in the total expenditure on education, even though they might not be considered as real expenditure because they are repaid in due course. Government’s revenues in regard to education are excluded.