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2012 Spotlight

A Closer Look at High School Students in the United States Over the Last 20 Years

Activities Outside School

In this section we look at two activities that high school students may or may not have participated in outside of school—extracurricular activities and work.

In 2010, some 40 percent of high school seniors participated on athletic teams as an extracurricular activity, which was higher than the percentage who participated in other school clubs/activities (32 percent), music/performing arts (23 percent), academic clubs (14 percent), newspaper/yearbook (10 percent), and student council/government (9 percent) (see indicator 27). Since 1990, there has been little change in the participation of high school seniors in extracurricular activities, other than an increase in the percentage that participate in athletics (from 36 to 40 percent).

In 2010, a higher percentage of female than male high school seniors participated on a newspaper/yearbook (13 vs. 6 percent), in music/performing arts (28 vs. 18 percent), in academic clubs (18 vs. 11 percent), in student council/government (12 vs. 6 percent), and in other school clubs/activities (41 vs. 24 percent), while a higher percentage of male than female high school seniors participated on athletic teams (44 vs. 36 percent). For each of these activities, other than athletics and student council/government, the participation rates for males and females were not measurably different in each group from 1990 to 2010. For the activity of athletics, the percentage of female high school seniors that participated was higher in 2010 (36 percent) than in 1990 (28 percent). For student council/government, the percentage of male high school seniors that participated was lower in 2010 (6 percent) than in 1990 (9 percent).

Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of high school students ages 16 or older who were employed decreased from 32 percent to 16 percent (see indicator 30). For male high school students, the decrease was from 33 percent in 1990 to 14 percent in 2010. For females, the decrease was from 31 percent to 18 percent. In 1990, some 12 percent of high school students were employed less than 15 hours per week, and 20 percent were employed for 15 or more hours per week; these percentages declined to 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, by 2010. The percentage of males who were employed for less than 15 hours per week declined from 11 percent in 1990 to 6 percent in 2010. For females, the percentages who were employed less than 15 hours per week declined from 12 percent to 8 percent over the same time period. For male students employed 15 or more hours per week, the decline was from 21 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2010; forfemales, some 18 percent were employed 15 or more hours per week in 1990 and 9 percent were in 2010.

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