Public education expenditure

In 2021, the Confederation, cantons and communes spent CHF 41.3 billion on education. This amount corresponds to 17.7% of the total public expenditure and to 5.6% of the gross domestic product.

Key figures

In Switzerland 92% of expenditure on education is incurred as current expenses, the remaining 8% as investments. With CHF 27.8 billion, 67% of total education expenditure is spent on staff salaries. In the distribution of public expenditure on education according to the degree of education compulsory schooling represents the most important part.

Public education expenditure by the administrative level making the expenditure and the educational level, 2021
in CHF millions Switzerland Confederation Cantons Communes
Total  41'335 100% 4'142 25'963 11'231
   of which salaries 27'831 67% 2'346 18'990 6'495
Compulsory education and special schools 21'035 51% 19 9'984 11'032
Upper secondary level 6'006 15% 183 5'682 142
Tertiary level 9'457 23% 1'300 8'141 15
Research 4'135 10% 2'623 1'509 2
Non-attributable expenditure 703 2% 17 646 41
Extraordinary expenditure is excluded. Transfer receipts from other public units are included (expenditure perspective).
Sources: FSO - Public education expenditure (ÖBA); FFA - Financial Statistics

Financial flows

Education is not always funded directly, but also in the form of contributions to the expenditure of other administrative levels. In 2021, for example, the Confederation invested a total of CHF 7.1 billion for education, of which CHF 4.1 billion have been spent directly and CHF 3.0 billion via the cantons.

Further information




Federal Statistical Office Section Educational Processes
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
+41 58 483 93 61

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