Education Price Index (EPI)

Detailed information for 2003





Record number:


The Education Price Index (EPI) is used as the main deflator of elementary and secondary expenditures. It is used to put into constant dollars, school board expenditures including teachers' salaries which is the main component.

Data release - March 11, 2005


The Education Price Index (EPI) is an annual input price index that measures changes of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by public school boards in Canada excluding the territories. It compares current salary grids of teachers with those in a base year and uses selected sub-indices from the Consumer Price Index and the Industry Product Price Index as proxies for price increases of non-salary items of school board's expenses. It also uses the federal government's General Services GS-04 category's salaries as a proxy for the non-teaching salaries component. It tracks changes over time in the level of real resources used by school boards, and the net of the effect of changes in prices. The EPI results are published in the Daily and are also available on CANSIM.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: January to June


  • Education finance
  • Education price indexes
  • Education, training and learning
  • Prices and price indexes

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population includes all elementary/secondary school boards in Canada's ten provinces regardless of religious denomination. Excluded are private elementary and secondary schools, as well as nursery schools and schools for the handicapped that are not directly administered by the public school system.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Questionnaires are not used to collect any EPI data. For the collection of the teachers' salaries, the main component of the EPI, data are collected using an administrative cross sectional sample design or a census. More specifically, in order to compile the teacher's salary component of the EPI, a sample of school boards is used in provinces that do not have a provincial salary scale. A stratified systematic random sampling was adopted to select a sample of school boards across Canada. Each province was first stratified by location (rural/urban) of school board and then within each province/location stratum, systematic sampling design was implemented.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2004-01-01 to 2004-12-31

Data are extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

All price indices for the non-salary component are supplied by the Prices Division of Statistics Canada. Treasury Board's website provides the necessary data for the calculation of the non-teaching salaries index. The General Services GS-04 group pay rates are used as the proxy for the non-teaching salaries. The Centre for Education Statistics collects administrative data on the teachers' salary scales in a hardcopy format for each province. In the four provinces, namely Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, where wages are negotiated at the board level, a sample is used.

Error detection

A comparison of the data from previous years and a comparisons between boards within the same province. A computerized variation report for the all inputs/items is also produced.


When data are late or missing, imputation for the teacher salary component is done using increases or decreases of similar boards in a province as a donors.

Quality evaluation

Before finalizing or releasing the data each year, they are compared to the previous year's figures by the survey manager using percentage increases or decreases of the dollar amounts. Relatively large increases or decreases, by price index or sub-component are investigated and there maybe call-backs to data providers if warranted. Figures can be cross checked with other published sources. For example, if Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) published teachers' salary scales in a particular province are compared with the teachers' salary component of the EPI and there is a relatively large difference between the two in the same year, then further investigation at the different levels of the data collection and compilation procedures are re-visited by Statistics Canada.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Information is published at the aggregated provincial level only. Components of the EPI that are confidential or secure according to the Statistics Act are not published in detail. Only certain aggregated components are therefore published.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Most of the EPI's components are on various year ends, therefore, they are calendarized using a basic monthly formula.

Data accuracy

Only non-sampling errors apply to certain parts of this survey as no sampling process was used to produce the final results. Also, since the response rate for the data collection of the main component (teachers' salary scales) via administrative data has always been over 90% annually on average, it can be stated that the data are quite accurate. Moreover, for the provinces where provincial teacher salary scales are obtained, the response rate is always 100%, thus further emphasizing its accuracy.

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