Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Elementary and Secondary School Enrollment


In 2005–06, American Indian/Alaska Native students represented 1 percent of total enrollment in both public and private elementary and secondary schools. The majority of American Indian/Alaska Native public school students attended school in the western and southern regions of the United States.

Figure 2.1. Percentage distribution of public elementary and secondary students, by race/ethnicity and locale: 2005–06
Percentage distribution of public elementary and secondary students, by race/ethnicity and
locale: 2005–06
NOTE: Includes students enrolled in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools. Enrollment counts exclude schools with no reported enrollment. Race or locale information was not reported for 2.5 percent of students. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Rural areas are located outside any urbanized area or urban cluster. Urbanized areas are densely settled areas containing at least 50,000 people. Urban clusters are densely settled areas with a population of 2,500 to 49,999. Fringe rural areas are 5 miles or less from an urbanized area or 2 miles or less from an urban cluster. Distant rural areas are more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, or more than 2 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster. Remote rural areas are more than 25 miles from an urbanized area or more than 10 miles from an urban cluster. For more details on Census-defined areas, see http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/ua_2k.html. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey," 2005–06.

In the 2005–06 school year, 644,000 public elementary and secondary school students, or about 1 percent of all public school students, including those in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, were American Indian/Alaska Native (appendix table A-2.1a). Excluding students in BIE schools, the percentage of public school students who were American Indian/Alaska Native has remained fairly constant since 1986–87, varying between 0.9 percent in 1986–87 to 1.2 percent in 2005–06. The percentage of public school students who were either Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native increased from 30 percent in 1986–87 to 43 percent in 2005–06, while the percentage who were White decreased from 70 percent to 57 percent over the same period of time.

The states where American Indian/Alaska Native students composed the largest percentages of the total public school student enrollment included Alaska (27 percent), Oklahoma (19 percent), Montana and New Mexico (11 percent each), and South Dakota (10 percent). BIE schools (located in the South, Midwest, and West regions; data not shown) enrolled 8 percent of all American Indian/Alaska Native students (appendix table A-2.1a).

For public schools, including students in BIE schools, a higher percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students attended schools in rural areas than students of all other racial/ethnic groups. Some 46 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students attended public schools in rural areas, compared with 30 percent of White, 14 percent of Black, 10 percent of Hispanic, and 9 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students. Rural areas located close to or on the fringe of urbanized areas are referred to as "fringe rural," while those located further from urbanized areas are referred to as "distant rural" and "remote rural" (figure 2.1). Approximately one-third (34 percent) of American Indian/Alaska Native students attended schools in distant rural or remote rural areas, compared with 15 percent of White, 5 percent of Black, 3 percent of Hispanic, and 2 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students (appendix table A-2.1b). Some 30 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students attended schools where they accounted for at least 50 percent of the student body (appendix table A-2.1c).

With the exception of Hispanic students, percentages of students enrolled in private schools remained relatively unchanged from 2001–02 to 2005–06. During the 2005–06 school year, 75 percent of private school students were White, 10 percent were Black, 9 percent were Hispanic, and 5 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. About 1 percent of students enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools were American Indian/Alaska Native. When looking at enrollment in specific types of private schools, a higher percentage of children in private nonsectarian schools were American Indian/Alaska Natives (1.0 percent) than the percentage in Catholic schools (0.7) or other religious schools (0.5 percent).

View Table View Table 2.1a View Table View Table 2.1b

Top


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.