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2010 Spotlight

High-Poverty Public Schools

Race and ethnicity

In 2007–08, some 14 percent of students attending high-poverty elementary schools were White, 34 percent were Black, 46 percent were Hispanic, 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native (see table A-25-2). At low-poverty elementary schools, student enrollment was on average 75 percent White, 6 percent Black, 11 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.

This pattern held for Hispanic, Black, and White students in cities, suburban areas, and towns (see table A-25-2). For example, in suburban areas, Hispanics made up over half (55 percent) of all students in high-poverty elementary schools, followed by Blacks (29 percent), Whites (12 percent), Asians/Pacific Islanders (3 percent), and American Indians/Alaska Natives (1 percent). In rural high-poverty elementary schools, however, there were greater percentages of Black and White students (31 percent each) than Hispanic (27 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (8 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander (1 percent) students.

As at the elementary school level, Hispanics and Blacks represented the greatest shares of student enrollments in high-poverty public secondary schools. In 2007–08, some 11 percent of students in high-poverty secondary schools were White, 38 percent were Black, 44 percent were Hispanic, 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native. The pattern in low-poverty public secondary schools was similar to the pattern observed at the elementary level: student enrollments were on average 76 percent White, 7 percent Black, 10 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.

At high-poverty secondary schools, Hispanic students made up the plurality of student enrollment in city and suburban schools. At high-poverty secondary schools in cities, Hispanics accounted for 47 percent of enrollment, followed by Blacks (40 percent), Whites (7 percent), Asians/Pacific Islanders (5 percent), and American Indians/Alaska Natives (1 percent) (see table A-25-2). In towns and rural areas, however, high-poverty secondary schools had greater percentages of Black students (44 and 34 percent, respectively). Hispanic students also made up a large proportion of enrollment in high-poverty schools in towns (33 percent) and high-poverty schools in rural areas (28 percent). White students accounted for 24 percent of enrollment in high-poverty rural schools.

In 2007–08, greater percentages of Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native students attended high-poverty public elementary and secondary schools than did White or Asian/Pacific Islander students; in addition, greater percentages of Asian/Pacific Islander students attended these schools than did White students (see table A-25-1). At the elementary level, 42 percent of Hispanic, 40 percent of Black, and 28 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students were enrolled in high-poverty schools, compared with 5 percent of White and 15 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students. In secondary schools, 15 percent each of Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native students were enrolled in high-poverty schools, compared with 1 percent of White and 5 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students.

For more information, visit the List of Figures.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education