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Status of Education in Rural America
NCES 2007-040
June 2007

1.3. Public school students, by race/ethnicity


A greater proportion of public school students in rural areas were White or American Indian/Alaska Native than in towns, suburbs, or cities, and a smaller proportion of public school students in rural areas were Black, Hispanic, or Asian/Pacific Islander than in towns, suburbs, or cities.

In the 2003–04 school year, 58 percent of all public elementary and secondary school students in the nation were White, 17 percent were Black, 19 percent were Hispanic, 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native (table 1.3). In rural areas, 78 percent of public school students were White, 10 percent were Black, 8 percent were Hispanic, 2 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native.

The percentage of these students who were White was higher in rural areas (78 percent) than in cities (35 percent), suburban areas (62 percent), and towns (72 percent) (figure 1.3). Conversely, the percentages of these students in rural schools who were Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander were lower than the corresponding percentages in cities, suburban areas, and towns. A higher percentage of these students in rural areas were American Indian/Alaska Native than in cities, suburbs, and towns (1 to 2 percent).

Within rural areas, a lower percentage of these students in rural fringe areas were White (74 percent) than in remote rural (79 percent) and distant rural (83 percent) areas. A greater proportion of students attending public schools in fringe rural areas were Black (12 percent), Hispanic (10 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander (2 percent) than in distant rural and remote rural areas. However, 7 percent of these students attending schools in remote rural areas were American Indian/Alaska Native, compared with 1 percent in fringe rural areas and 2 percent in distant rural areas.


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