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Projections of Education Statistics to 2011
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Chapter 1
Elementary and Secondary Enrollment


National

Projections show public and private elementary and secondary school enrollments having peaked in Fall 2000 at a record level. The record 2000 enrollment reflects an increase of 14 percent since fall 1990. Further small enrollment increases are expected between 2000 and 2005, followed by small enrollment declines for most of the years between 2005 and 2011 (table 1). The primary reason for the continuing increase over the first 5 years is the rise in the number of annual births between 1977 and 1990-sometimes referred to as the baby boom echo (appendix table B1 and figure 1). After small declines and a period of stability from 1991 to 1997, the number of births has begun rising again. Reflecting this, the 3- to 5-year-old population is projected to increase 4 percent by 2011 (appendix table B2 and figure 2). Increases in the 5- to 13-year-old population from 1999 to 2002 and decreases from 2003 to 2008, followed by slight increases in 2009 to 2011 are expected to cause rises in K-8 enrollment in 2001 and decreases through 2008 and then increases to 2011. Over the next decade, elementary enrollment is projected to remain at the high levels evident in the late 1990s (figure 4). Growth in the 14- to 17-year-old population to 2007 and decline through 2011 will continue to influence growth in grades 9 through 12 enrollment through 2006. Between 2000 and 2011 enrollment in secondary schools is projected to exceed enrollment in the late 1990s.

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Enrollment, by Grade Group

Enrollment in grades K-8 increased from 34.0 million in 1990 to approximately 38.1 million in 2000, an increase of 12 percent. Enrollment in grades K-8 is projected to increase slightly to 38.2 million in 2001, and then decrease slowly through 2008 to 37.4 million. Thereafter, elementary enrollment is expected to begin increasing again, rising to 37.7 million by 2011 (table 1 and figure 4).

Enrollment in grades 9-12 has risen from 12.5 million in 1990 to a projected 14.8 million in 2000, an increase of 18 percent. Thereafter, enrollment in grades 9-12 is projected to rise to 15.9 million in 2006, before decreasing slightly to 15.3 million by 2011, an increase of 4 percent from 2000. In the year 2005, enrollment in grades 9-12 is projected to reach an all-time record of 15.8 million, surpassing the previous high of 15.7 million in fall 1976.

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Enrollment, by Control of School

Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools increased from 39.8 million in 1986 to 46.9 million in 1999, an increase of 18 percent (figure 5). Enrollment in public schools is projected to rise slightly over the next 6 years, then decrease slightly over most of the following 6 years (table 2). In 2011, public school enrollment is projected to be 47.2 million.

Since the mid-1980s, enrollment in private elementary and secondary schools has fluctuated between 5.2 million and 6.0 million. In fall 2000, an estimated 5.9 million students will be enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools. Enrollment in private schools is projected to remain around that level between 2000 and 2011.

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Public School Enrollment, by Grade

Between 2000 and 2011, public school enrollment in grades K-12 is projected to remain virtually unchanged. However, projections of public school enrollment by grade will vary over the projection period (table 3 and figure 6). Enrollment in grade 1 is projected to decrease through 2002 and then increase slightly through 2011. Enrollment in grade 4 is expected to decrease through 2005 and then increase through 2011. Enrollment in grade 8 is projected to increase to 2003 and then decrease to 2011. Enrollment in grade 12 is expected to increase through 2007 and then decrease to 2011.

Methodology

Enrollment rates for the school-age populations are nearly 100 percent for elementary grades and junior-high grades and close to 90 percent for high school grades. Thus, the historical and projected patterns of decline and growth in enrollment in grades K-8 and grades 9-12 are strongly correlated with changes in the sizes of the 5- to 13-year-old population and the 14- to 17-year-old population. Projections of enrollments in public and private elementary and secondary schools are based on projected grade progression rates. The grade progression rates for grades 2 through 10 are all close to 100 percent. Rates for grade 6 to grade 7 and grade 8 to grade 9 are significantly over 100 percent. Traditionally, these are the grades in which large numbers of elementary students transfer to public/private secondary schools. The progression rates for grades 10 to 11 and 11 to 12 are about 90 percent. The grade progression rates are assumed to be constant over the projection period

Projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment that have been produced over the last 18 years are more accurate than projections of public high school graduates and public classroom teachers that NCES has published over the same time period. For more information, see table A2.

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State

Public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to rise less than 1 percent between 1999 and the year 2011, but growth will vary widely across the nation (table 4 and figure 7). Enrollment will increase in the Western and Southern regions, where public school enrollment is expected to rise 8 percent and 1 percent, respectively. A decrease of 4 percent is projected for the Northeastern region, while a decrease of 3 percent is expected in the Midwestern region (table 5 and figure 8).

Public School Enrollment

Over the projection period, public school enrollment is expected to vary across states. All of the states in the Northeast except New Jersey will have enrollment decreases. Decreases will occur in Connecticut (6 percent), Maine (6 percent), Massachusetts (5 percent), New Hampshire (0.9 percent), New York (5 percent), Pennsylvania (6 percent), Rhode Island (7 percent), and Vermont (3 percent).

In the Midwest, public school enrollment will decrease in all states between 1999 and 2011. Decreases are projected for Illinois (0.4 percent), Indiana (0.7 percent), Iowa (5 percent), Kansas (1 percent), Michigan (7 percent), Minnesota (4 percent), Missouri (2 percent), Nebraska (1 percent), North Dakota (7 percent), Ohio (6 percent), South Dakota (2 percent), and Wisconsin (3 percent).

Public school enrollment increases are projected for seven of the 17 Southern states between 1999 and 2011. Increases are projected for Delaware (1.3 percent), District of Columbia (1 percent), Georgia (7 percent), Maryland (0.9 percent), Tennessee (2 percent), Texas (7 percent), and Virginia (4 percent). Decreases in enrollment have been projected for Alabama (1 percent), Arkansas (4 percent), Florida (1 percent), Kentucky (6 percent), Louisiana (4 percent), Mississippi (2 percent), North Carolina (2 percent), Oklahoma (8 percent), South Carolina (4 percent), and West Virginia (10 percent).

All of the 13 states in the West are expected to show increases in public school enrollment between 1999 and 2011. Increases are expected in Alaska (13 percent), Arizona (10 percent), California (7 percent), Colorado (7 percent), Hawaii (12 percent), Idaho (17 percent), Montana (5 percent), Nevada (13 percent), New Mexico (14 percent), Oregon (1 percent), Utah (8 percent), Washington (3 percent), and Wyoming (8 percent).

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Public Elementary Enrollment

Between 1999 and 2011, public elementary school enrollment in kindergarten through grade 8 (K-8) is expected to decrease by 1 percent. However, public school elementary enrollment is projected to increase in 20 states (table 6 and figure 9). These expected increases in elementary enrollment are a reflection of immigration and the relatively high level of births in the 1990s, rather than changes in the attendance rates of young children. The NCES projections do not account for enrollment increases that may be caused by changing state and local policies about the provision of prekindergarten and kindergarten programs. Expansion of these programs could lead to higher enrollments at the elementary school level.

Public school elementary enrollment is expected to show a decrease of 7 percent in the Northeast between 1999 and 2011 (table 7 and figure 10). All states are expected to show decreases. These decreases are projected for Connecticut (10 percent), Maine (4 percent), Massachusetts (8 percent), New Hampshire (3 percent), New Jersey (4 percent), New York (8 percent), Pennsylvania (7 percent), Rhode Island (9 percent), and Vermont (2 percent).

A decrease of 4 percent in public school elementary enrollment has been projected for the Midwestern region between 1999 and 2011. Nine of the twelve states in this region are projected to show decreases. These will occur in Illinois (4 percent), Indiana (2 percent), Iowa (4 percent), Michigan (8 percent), Minnesota (3 percent), Missouri (2 percent), North Dakota (1 percent), Ohio (6 percent), and Wisconsin (3 percent). Increases are expected for Kansas (0.5 percent), Nebraska (2 percent), and South Dakota ( 4 percent).

A decrease of 1 percent is expected for the Southern region between 1999 and 2011. Thirteen of the 17 states are projected to show decreases. Decreases are projected for Alabama (2 percent), Arkansas (4 percent), Delaware (1 percent), District of Columbia (0.1 percent), Florida (4 percent), Kentucky (7 percent), Louisiana (2 percent), Maryland (2 percent), Mississippi (2 percent), North Carolina (6 percent), Oklahoma (6 percent), South Carolina (6 percent), and West Virginia (9 percent). Increases are expected in Georgia (4 percent), Tennessee (1 percent), Texas (6 percent), and Virginia (0.4 percent).

Public school elementary enrollment in the Western states is projected to increase by 6 percent between 1999 and 2011. All of the 13 states are projected to show increases. Over the projection period, enrollment increases are projected for Alaska (14 percent), Arizona (6 percent), California (6 percent), Colorado (5 percent), Hawaii (14 percent), Idaho (20 percent), Montana (10 percent), Nevada (3 percent), New Mexico (17 percent), Oregon (2 percent), Utah (11 percent), Washington (3 percent), and Wyoming (18 percent).

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Public High School Enrollment

Between 1999 and 2011, enrollment in public high schools (grades 9 through 12) is expected to increase by 5 percent (table 8 and figure 11). Over the projection period, enrollment increases are projected in all of the regions except the Midwest.

The Northeast public high school enrollment is projected to increase by 3 percent between 1999 and 2011 (table 9 and figure 12). Increases are expected in Connecticut (5 percent), Massachusetts (5 percent), New Hampshire (3 percent), New Jersey (13 percent), and New York (3 percent). Decreases are projected for Maine (10 percent), Pennsylvania (1 percent), Rhode Island (1 percent), and Vermont (7 percent).

The Midwestern region is expected to show a decrease of 1 percent in public high school enrollment between 1999 and 2011. Decreases are projected in Iowa (6 percent), Kansas (5 percent), Michigan (3 percent), Minnesota (6 percent), Missouri (0.2 percent), Nebraska (6 percent), North Dakota (18 percent), Ohio (4 percent), South Dakota (15 percent), and Wisconsin (4 percent). Enrollment increases are expected in Illinois (9 percent) and Indiana (3 percent).

Between 1999 and 2011, public high school enrollment in the South is projected to increase by 5 percent. Over the projection period, increases are expected in Delaware (7 percent), District of Columbia (5 percent), Florida (8 percent), Georgia (17 percent), Maryland (8 percent), Mississippi (0.2 percent), North Carolina (11 percent), Tennessee (6 percent), Texas (9 percent) and Virginia (11 percent). Decreases are expected for Alabama (0.1 percent), Arkansas (4 percent), Kentucky (6 percent), Louisiana (9 percent), Oklahoma (12 percent), South Carolina (0.7 percent), and West Virginia (12 percent).

The Western region's public high school enrollment is expected to increase by 11 percent between 1999 and 2011. Between 1999 and 2011, increases have been projected for Arizona (21 percent), California (12 percent), Colorado (11 percent), Idaho (10 percent), and Nevada (42 percent). Other enrollment increases are expected for Alaska (9 percent), Hawaii (5 percent), New Mexico (9 percent), Utah (2 percent), and Washington (3 percent). Decreases are expected for Montana (5 percent), Oregon (0.6 percent), and Wyoming (12 percent).

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education