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Projections of Education Statistics to 2020

NCES 2011-026
September 2011

Section 1. Elementary and Secondary Enrollment: National


Figure 1. Actual and projected numbers for enrollment in elementary and secondary schools, by grade level: Fall 1995 through fall 2020

Figure 1. Actual and projected numbers for enrollment in elementary and secondary schools, by grade level: Fall 1995 through fall 2020


NOTE: PK = prekindergarten. Enrollment numbers for prekindergarten through 12th grade and prekindergarten through 8th grade include private nursery and prekindergarten enrollment in schools that offer kindergarten or higher grades. Since the biennial Private School Universe Survey (PSS) is collected in the fall of odd numbered years, private school numbers for alternate years are estimated based on data from the PSS. The private school numbers for 2009 are actual numbers from 200910 PSS. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Mean absolute percentage errors of selected education statistics can be found in table A-2, appendix A.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education, 199596 through 200809; Private School Universe Survey (PSS), selected years 199596 through 200910; and National Elementary and Secondary Enrollment Model, 19722008. (This figure was prepared February 2011.)

Total elementary and secondary enrollment

  • increased 8 percent between 1995 and 2008;
  • and is projected to increase an additional 5 percent between 2008 and 2020.

Enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 8

  • increased 4 percent between 1995 and 2008; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 8 percent between 2008 and 2020.

Enrollment in grades 912

  • increased 19 percent between 1995 and 2008; and
  • is projected to decrease less than 1 percent between 2008 and 2020.

For more information: Tables 1 and 2


Figure 2. Actual and projected numbers for enrollment in elementary and secondary schools, by control of school: Fall 1995 through fall 2020

Figure 2. Actual and projected numbers for enrollment in elementary and secondary schools, by control of school: Fall 1995 through fall 2020


NOTE: Private school numbers include private nursery and prekindergarten enrollment in schools that offer kindergarten or higher grades. Since the biennial Private School Universe Survey (PSS) is collected in the fall of odd numbered years, private school numbers for alternate years are estimated based on data from the PSS. The private school numbers for 2009 are actual numbers from 200910 PSS. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Mean absolute percentage errors of selected education statistics can be found in table A-2, appendix A.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education, 199596 through 200809; Private School Universe Survey (PSS), selected years 199596 through 200910; and National Elementary and Secondary Enrollment Model, 19722008. (This figure was prepared February 2011.)

Enrollment by control of school

Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools

  • increased 10 percent between 1995 and 2008; and
  • is projected to increase an additional 7 percent between 2008 and 2020.

Enrollment in private elementary and secondary schools

  • decreased 4 percent between 1995 and 2008; and
  • is projected to decrease 8 percent between 2008 and 2020.

For more information: Table 1


Figure 3. Actual and projected numbers for enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by race/ethnicity: Fall 1995 through fall 2020

Figure 3. Actual and projected numbers for enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by race/ethnicity: Fall 1995 through fall 2020


NOTE: The historical racial/ethnic time-series were constructed using racial/ethnic enrollment data at the state level for individual grades. In some instances, enrollment data by race/ethnicity had to be imputed. Further, in some instances, the racial/ethnic enrollment data for individual grades had to be adjusted to the state total for that grade. Beginning in 2008, jurisdictions could classify students as being of two or more races. As a limited number of states classified students as being of two or more races, those students were proportioned among the other categories. For additional information see the Elementary and Secondary Enrollment section A.1 in appendix A. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Mean absolute percentage errors of selected education statistics can be found in table A-2, appendix A. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education, 199596 through 200809; and National Public Elementary and Secondary Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity Model, 19942008. (This figure was prepared February 2011.)

Enrollment by race/ethnicity

Between 2008 and 2020, enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools is projected to

  • decrease 1 percent for students who are White;
  • increase 1 percent for students who are Black;
  • increase 25 percent for students who are Hispanic;
  • increase 36 percent for students who are Asian/Pacific Islander; and
  • increase 17 percent for students who are American Indian/Alaska Native.

For more information: Tables 3, 4, and 5

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