Total public and private elementary and secondary school enrollment reached a record 55 million in fall 2005, representing a 14 percent increase since fall 1992. Between 2005, the last year of actual data, and 2017, a further increase of 10 percent is expected, with increases projected in both public and private schools. Increases in public school enrollment are expected in the Midwest, South, and West, and a decrease is expected in the Northeast.
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.
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.