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

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

Periods 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 (Pre-)primary education Pre-primary and primary education (million euros) Government expenditure on education (Pre-)primary education Special needs primary education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Secondary education Total secondary education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Secondary education Secondary general education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Secondary education Senior voc. and gen. adult sec. educ. (million euros) Government expenditure on education Tertiary education Total tertiary education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Tertiary education Higher professional education (million euros) Government expenditure on education Tertiary education University education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Secondary education Total secondary education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Secondary education Secondary general education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Secondary education Senior voc. and gen. adult sec. educ. (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Tertiary education Total tertiary education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Tertiary education Higher professional education (million euros) Student grants, loans and allowance Tertiary education University education (million euros)
2019* 36,745 12,288 10,849 1,439 15,202 10,724 4,478 9,255 3,540 5,715 1,687 70 1,617 3,582 2,189 1,392
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 5 March 2021:
The provisional figures for 2019 have been added.
The figures for 2018 have been adjusted from provisional to definite.

When will new figures be published?
New figures are published in November/December of 2021.

Description topics

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.
Pre-primary and primary education
Pre-primary education concerns the education component in the activities of three-year-old children in preschool and day care. For children from three years on preschool and day care offer an educational component in the activities of the children, meant to stimulate the development of the child. This includes preschool education for children with (an increased risk of) a (language) disadvantage.
Primary general education is intended for children from the age of 4 to about 12 years, when they go on to secondary education.
Special needs primary education
Special needs primary education and primary education in special schools for pupils from 4 to about 14 years of age. Special needs primary education is meant for children in need of more support and supervision than can be offered in regular primary education. Classes are often smaller than in regular primary education and children receive guidance by experts on their learning and educational difficulties. At both primary and secondary level some children receive special needs education in special schools. Education in special schools at primary level is for pupils requiring a special approach because of physical or mental disabilities, chronic illness or serious behavioural or learning difficulties.
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.
Secondary general education
Secondary general education is a collective term for the first year of secondary education, preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo), senior general secondary education (havo), pre-university education (vwo), extra learning support in preparatory secondary vocational education (lwoo) and special needs education for students of 12 years and older, requiring a special approach because of physical or mental disabilities, chronic illness or serious behavioural or learning difficulties.
Senior voc. and gen. adult sec. educ.
Senior secondary vocational and secondary general adult education. Senior secondary vocational education (mbo) consists of occupational training whereby theory (the school-based track of senior secondary vocational education, bol) or practice (the apprenticeship-based track of senior secondary vocational education, bbl) is paramount. Of adult education, only secondary general education for adults (vavo) is included here. This is so-called second chance education, where adults can acquire a certificate or a pass at the highest level of preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo), senior general secondary education (havo) or pre-university education (vwo).
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.
Higher professional education
Education provided by colleges that concludes with an associate degree, bachelor's or master's degree. In addition to transferring theoretical knowledge, higher professional education is particularly aimed at developing skills and competence that are well-matched with the practical capabilities of students. Colleges also carry out research, aimed at achieving practical applications and solutions for businesses. It concerns both contract research conducted on behalf of third parties, and applied research which colleges must perform in accordance with their statutory duties.
University education
Education provided by universities that concludes with a bachelor's, master's (formerly doctoral) or doctor's degree or a degree from university second-stage professional education. In addition to transferring theoretical knowledge, university education is particularly aimed at acquiring general skills and a scientific level of thinking. Another main task of universities is research. This research leads to fundamentally new insights, not specifically aimed at usability in industry or business.
Research is often referred to as R&D (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.
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.
Secondary general education
Secondary general education is a collective term for the first year of secondary general education, preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo), senior general secondary education (havo), pre-university education (vwo), extra learning support in preparatory secondary vocational education (lwoo) and special needs education for students of 12 years and older, requiring a special approach because of physical or mental disabilities, chronic illness or serious behavioural or learning difficulties.
Senior voc. and gen. adult sec. educ.
Senior secondary vocational and secondary general adult education. Senior secondary vocational education (mbo) consists of occupational training whereby theory (the school-based track of senior secondary vocational education, bol) or practice (the apprenticeship-based track of senior secondary vocational education, bbl) is paramount. Of adult education, only secondary general education for adults (vavo) is included here. This is so-called second chance education, where adults can acquire a certificate or a pass at the highest level of preparatory secondary vocational education (vmbo), senior general secondary education (havo) or pre-university education (vwo).
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.
Higher professional education
Education provided by colleges that concludes with an associate degree, bachelor's or master's degree. In addition to transferring theoretical knowledge, higher professional education is particularly aimed at developing skills and competence that are well-matched with the practical capabilities of students. Colleges also carry out research, aimed at achieving practical applications and solutions for businesses. It concerns both contract research conducted on behalf of third parties, and applied research which colleges must perform in accordance with their statutory duties.
University education
Education provided by universities that concludes with a bachelor's, master's (formerly doctoral) or doctor's degree or a degree from university second-stage professional education. In addition to transferring theoretical knowledge, university education is particularly aimed at acquiring general skills and a scientific level of thinking. Another main task of universities is research. This research leads to fundamentally new insights, not specifically aimed at usability in industry or business.
Research is often referred to as R&D (research and development).