The total spending by households on preschool and primary education reached around 1.9 trillion yuan ($296 billion) during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 2.48 percent of the GDP in 2016, according to a survey conducted by China Institute for Educational Finance Research.
The first domestic large-scale research on household education spending surveyed 127,012 people from 40,011 households in 29 provinces in total.
For students receiving compulsory education, household education expenditure in the first-tier cities is the highest, with 16,800 yuan per student on average. Among regions, educational expenses in the northeastern region ranks highest, with 11,000 yuan per student on average.
When it comes to percentage of household expenditure on education, the gap among households narrows thanks to public financial input on compulsory education. For non-compulsory education, the percentage varies widely according to household income.
The educational level of parents plays a decisive role on the percentage during preschool and compulsory education. The more education parents received, the more they spend on children’s education. For education in high school, the situation is different as it is decided by the income of a family.
The survey also finds that 47.2 percent primary and secondary school students receive extracurricular education, with 5,616 yuan per student on average. It is estimated that the extracurricular education industry is worth over 458 billion yuan.