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

Section 1. Elementary and Secondary Enrollment: National

After increasing by about 15 percent between 1991 and 2004, a period of 13 years, total elementary and secondary enrollment in public and private schools is expected to increase 9 percent between 2004 and 2016, a period of 12 years. Enrollment increases are expected at both the PK–8 and 9–12 grade spans (figures A and B; reference figures 2 and 3 and table 1).

The grade progression rate method

The method used to project school enrollments assumes that future trends in factors affecting enrollments will be consistent with past patterns. It implicitly includes the net effect of factors such as dropouts, deaths, nonpromotion, and transfers to and from public schools. See appendix A for more details.

Figure A. Actual and projected numbers for elementary and secondary enrollment, total and by grade level: Selected years, 1991–2016

Figure A. Actual and projected numbers for elementary and secondary enrollment, total and by grade level: Selected years, 1991–2016


NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, The NCES Common Core of Data surveys, various years; Private School Universe Survey, various years; and National Elementary and Secondary School Enrollment Model. (See reference table 1.)

Total enrollment

Total elementary and secondary enrollment

  • increased 15 percent between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 9 percent between 2004 and 2016.

Enrollment in grades PK–8

Enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 8

  • increased 11 percent between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 11 percent between 2004 and 2016.

Enrollment in grades 9–12

Enrollment in grades 9–12

  • increased 26 percent between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 4 percent between 2004 and 2016.

Figure B. Actual and projected numbers for elementary and secondary enrollment, by control of school: Selected years, 1991–2016

Figure B. Actual and projected numbers for elementary and secondary enrollment, by control of school: Selected years, 1991–2016


SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Education, NCES, Common Core of Data surveys, various years; Private School Universe Survey, various years; and National Elementary and Secondary School Enrollment Model. (See reference table 1.)

Public elementary and secondary enrollment

Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools

  • increased 16 percent between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 9 percent between 2004 and 2016.

Private elementary and secondary enrollment

Enrollment in private elementary and secondary schools

  • increased 8 percent between 1991 and 2004; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 6 percent between 2004 and 2016.

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