School Enrollment in the United States, 2008

School Enrollment in the United States, 2008
School Enrollment in the United States, 2008
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Current Population Reports, Population Characteristics, P20-564.

This report discusses school enrollment levels and trends in the population aged 3 and older based on data collected in 2008 by the U.S. Census Bureau in the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). This is the second report in a series of reports using both ACS and CPS data to discuss school enrollment. The two surveys are used in this report because of their complementary strengths in providing data on enrollment. The ACS is a valuable source of school enrollment data because of its large sample size and ability to provide statistics for small levels of geography. The CPS data offer a detailed selection of questions on school enrollment, allowing for unique analysis.

Highlights of the report are:

• Enrollment in Grades 1 through 12 fell from 50.0 million in 2000 to 49.3 million in 2008.
• In 2008, college enrollment was at an all-time high with 18.6 million students enrolled, up 22 percent from 15.3 million in 2000.
• Two-year college enrollment was also at an all-time high in 2008, with 5.3 million students enrolled, up 40 percent from 3.8 million in 2000.
• In 2008, 1 million Hispanic students were enrolled in 2-year colleges, up 85 percent from 540,000 in 2000.
• The number of students enrolled in nursery school in 2008 was not statistically different from the number of students enrolled in 1998; however, there were changes in the race and Hispanic origin of the students. Hispanic students made up 18 percent of nursery school students, up from 13 percent in 1998.
• In October 2008, the majority of kindergarten students, 72 percent, were enrolled in full-day kindergarten programs, up from 28 percent of students enrolled in full-day kindergarten programs in 1978.


Educators would be interested to study this report to determine what advances can and should be made. In addition, researchers would find this data use to produce educational data trends in the United States.

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Commerce Dept., Economics and Statistics Administration, Census Bureau
  • Davis, Jessica W.
Key Phrases:
  • Current Population Reports. P 20, No. 564
  • Schools
  • Student Enrollment
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