U.S. Census Bureau
This report has two aims. The irstis to look at statistics covering thespan o enrollment rom nurseryschool to college and beyond. Thesecond is to look at the people whoare enrolled in school and theirage, sex, race, Hispanic origin, andamily characteristics. Throughout,this report uses Census Bureau datasources, as well as data outsidethe Census Bureau, to help answerquestions about students and theirschools.For many young people, schoolenrollment starts with nursery orpreschool, which can be either aprivate program or a public pro-gram like Head Start. As they getolder, students generally enroll inprimary school, and then second-ary school (high school), and manycontinue rom there.As children progress throughschool they advance in grade asthey age, and hopeully progressto the point o graduation. Theconcept o “modal grade” reers tothe most common grade enrolledby children o a given age. Thosewho leave school without graduat-ing are considered “drop-outs,” andthe rate at which people drop outo school can be measured variousways.The schools attended by studentsmay be public or private, or theymay be public charter schools.Some students receive their edu-cation outside the ormal schoolsystem through home schooling.Students going to college mayattend a 2-year or a 4-year college,and the college may be a publicor private institution. While moststudents attend college ull-time,many enroll part-time. The schoolsystem is diverse, much like thestudents who are enrolled in it.In the last part o the report, wediscuss characteristics o studentssuch as sex, race and Hispanicorigin, nativity, and amily income.We provide documentation o thechanges that are taking place in themakeup o the school population,including the increasing enrollmento Hispanic students and increasingcollege attendance by women. Werely primarily on census data, spe-ciically the ACS and CPS, to pro-vide this analysis because these arethe best data on students and theiramilies. We also reer to outsidesources o data when necessary tocomplete the discussion o schoolsand students.
THE AMERICANCOMMUNITY SURVEY ANDTHE CURRENT POPULATIONSURVEY: TWO SOURCESOF SCHOOL ENROLLMENTDATA
Census Bureau statistics on enroll-ment come rom two sources: theACS and CPS. The ACS, part o theCensus Bureau’s re-engineered2010 Census program, looks at awide range o social, economic,and housing characteristics orthe population by a multitude o demographic variables. The ACSprovides data on states, counties,cities, school districts, and neigh-borhoods throughout the UnitedStates. The ACS inormation comesrom a sample o about 3 millionaddresses, or 1.7 percent o thenation’s population, each year.The ACS is administered to theentire resident population, includ-ing those living in institutions andother group quarters.
The ACSasks respondents throughout theentire calendar year whether theywere enrolled in regular school atany time in the 3 months beorethe interview. The survey also asks
Other dierences between the ACS andCensus 2010 aect comparisons o schoolenrollment. One o the most important isthe reerence time o data collection, whichis the 3 months preceding collection (whichoccurs year-round) in the ACS but is xed tothe time preceding April 1 in the census. Thisdierence especially aects comparisons o enrollment by age.
whether each person attendedpublic school or private schooland in what grade or level theperson was enrolled. A varietyo tables rom the ACS aboutschool enrollment can be accessedthrough the American FactFinderon the Census Bureau’s Web site,<http://actinder2.census.gov>.The Current Population Survey sam-ples approximately 72,000 housingunits on a monthly basis. Unlike theACS, the reerence population is thecivilian noninstitutionalized popu-lation, so people living in institu-tions are not included. Estimateso school enrollment rom the CPSare based on a special supplement,administered each October. Thesupplement on school enrollmentasks twenty questions on singleyear o enrollment, enrollmentstatus and level or the previousyear, whether the respondent goesto school ull-time or part-time,whether they attend a 2-year or4-year institution, whether they areobtaining any vocational training,and what year they received theirmost recent degree. Tables aboutstudents and school enrollmentrom the CPS can be ound on theCensus Bureau’s Web site at<www.census.gov/hhes/school/>.
In 2011, the 83 million people aged3 and over that the ACS recordedas enrolled in school included 5million children in nursery school,4 million children in kindergarten,33 million students enrolled in 1stthrough 8th grades, 17 million in9th through 12th grades, and 24million in college. College enroll-ment recorded in the CPS wasslightly lower, 20 million, whichmay be partially due to the act thatenrollment is asked only in Octobero each year or the CPS, comparedto year-round in the ACS.