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Projections of Education Statistics to 2016
NCES 2008-060
December 2007

Section 1. Elementary and Secondary Enrollment: Introduction

Total public and private elementary and secondary school enrollment reached a record 55 million in fall 2004, representing a 15 percent increase since fall 1991. Between 2004, the last year of actual data, and 2016, a further increase of 9 percent is expected, with increases projected in both public and private schools. Increases are expected in the Midwest, South, and West, and a decrease is expected in the Northeast.

Factors affecting the projections

The projected changes in enrollment reflect factors such as internal migration, legal and illegal immigration, the relatively high level of births in the 1990s, and resultant changes in the population (reference figure 1), rather than changes in attendance rates.

Factors that were not considered

The projections do not assume changes in policies or attitudes that may affect enrollment levels. For example, they do not account for changing state and local policies on prekindergarten and kindergarten programs. Expansion of these programs could lead to higher enrollments at the elementary school level. Projections also exclude the number of students who are homeschooled because national data are available for only a limited time period.

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