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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 9: School Enrollment

Figure 9. Percentage of population 14 to 29 years old enrolled in school, by selected age group: Various years, October 1960 to October 2003

Percentage of population 14 to 29 years old enrolled in school, by selected age group: Various years, October 1960 to October 2003
NOTE: Data are based upon sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutional population. Includes enrollment in any type of graded public, parochial, or other private schools. Includes nursery schools, kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, and professional schools. Attendance may be on either a full-time or part-time basis and during the day or night. Enrollments in 'special' schools, such as trade schools, business colleges, or correspondence schools, are not included.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970; Current Population Reports, Series P-20, various years; and Current Population Surveys (CPS), October, unpublished data.

In general, enrollment in education is compulsory for youths ages 14 to 17, as indicated by the high enrollment rates. From 1960 to 1970, school enrollment rates for this age group increased, from 90 percent to 94 percent. Since 1970, changes in school enrollment for this group have been smaller. The transition from secondary education into postsecondary education or into the workforce is reflected in the enrollment rates for 18- and 19-year-olds. In 1960, 38 percent of all 18- and 19-year-olds were enrolled in school. By 1970, the enrollment rate reached 48 percent, and additional increases during the 1980s and 1990s pushed the enrollment rate to 64 percent in 2003. Enrollment rates also increased over time for youths in their 20s. Enrollment rates increased from 28 percent in 1965 to 48 percent in 2003 for 20- and 21-year-olds, as well as from 13 percent to 28 percent for 22- to 24-year-olds and from 6 percent to 12 percent for 25- to 29-year-olds during the same time period.


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