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Projections of Education Statistics to 2018

NCES 2009-062
September 2009

Section 1. Elementary and Secondary Enrollment: Accuracy of Projections

An analysis of projection errors from the past 24 editions of Projections of Education Statistics indicates that the mean absolute percentage errors (MAPEs) for lead times of 1, 2, 5, and 10 years out for projections of public school enrollment in grades PK–12 were 0.3, 0.6, 1.3, and 2.3 percent, respectively. For the 1-year-out prediction, this means that one would expect the projection to be within 0.3 percent of the actual value, on average. For projections of public school enrollment in grades PK–8, the MAPEs for lead times of 1, 2, 5, and 10 years out were 0.4, 0.6, 1.4, and 3.1 percent, respectively, while the MAPEs for projections of public school enrollment in grades 9–12 were 0.4, 0.7, 1.4, and 2.2 percent, respectively, for the same lead times. For more information, see table A-2 in appendix A.


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