The 2011 edition of the Digest of Education Statistics is the 47th in a series of publications initiated in 1962. The Digest has been issued annually except for combined editions for the years 1977–78, 1983–84, and 1985–86. Its primary purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To qualify for inclusion in the Digest, material must be nationwide in scope and of current interest and value. The publication contains information on a variety of subjects in the field of education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to data on educational attainment, finances, federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons. Supplemental information on population trends, attitudes on education, education characteristics of the labor force, government finances, and economic trends provides background for evaluating education data. Although the Digest contains important information on federal education funding, more detailed information on federal activities is available from federal education program offices.
The Digest contains seven chapters: All Levels of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, Postsecondary Education, Federal Programs for Education and Related Activities, Outcomes of Education, International Comparisons of Education, and Libraries and Adult Education. Preceding these chapters is an Introduction that provides a brief overview of current trends in American education, which supplements the tabular materials in chapters 1 through 7. The Digest concludes with three appendixes. The first appendix, Guide to Sources, provides a brief synopsis of the surveys used to generate the Digest tables; the second, Definitions, is included to help readers understand terms used in the Digest; and the third, Index of Table Numbers, allows readers to quickly locate tables on specific topics.
In addition to updating many of the statistics that have appeared in previous years, this edition contains new material, including
The Digest can be accessed from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest.
Acting Associate Commissioner
Early Childhood, International, and Crosscutting Studies Division