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Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
NCES 2010-015
July 2010

Chapter 1. Demographics

Indicator 1: Population and Geographic Distributions
Indicator 2: Nativity
      Snapshot of Hispanic and Asian Subgroups: Nativity
Indicator 3: Children's Living Arrangements
Indicator 4: Children Living in Poverty
      Snapshot of Hispanic and Asian Subgroups: Families with Children Living
      in Poverty
Indicator 5: Parental Education

The first chapter in this report presents demographic information that provides context for the education indicators presented in later chapters. In order to describe the status of the various racial/ethnic groups in this country's education system, it is important to provide contextual information on the relative size of each group, where the members of those groups come from, and where and how they live.

For this reason, indicators 1 and 2 describe the size and distribution of the U.S. population in terms of race/ethnicity, geographic distribution, and nativity. Between 1999 and 2000, Hispanics surpassed Blacks as the country's largest racial/ethnic group other than Whites, and the population of Hispanics continued to grow at a faster rate than the overall population through 2008 (indicator 1). In 2008, Hispanics represented 15 percent of the total U.S. population. In the Western United States, in 2008, the percentages of the population who were Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and persons of two or more races were higher than the national percentages. New Mexico, California, and Texas had the highest percentages of the population who were Hispanic (ranging from 36 to 45 percent).

In 2007, about 14 percent of the U.S. population was born outside of the United States (indicator 2). Approximately 69 percent of Asians and 44 percent of Hispanics were born outside of the United States. Of the population under 18 years old, 5 percent were born outside of the United States, including 24 percent of Asians, 21 percent of Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and 11 percent of Hispanics.

Indicators 3 and 4 examine the living arrangements and poverty status of children under the age of 18. In 2007, across all racial/ethnic groups except Blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives, the majority of children under 18 were living with married parents (indicator 3). About 34 percent of Black children under 18 lived with married parents and 56 percent of Black children lived with a female parent with no spouse present.

About 18 percent of children under 18 were living in poverty (indicator 4). The overall percentages of children who were living in poverty were higher for Blacks (34 percent), American Indians/Alaska Natives (33 percent), Hispanics (27 percent), and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders (26 percent), than for children of two or more races (18 percent), Asians (11 percent), and Whites (10 percent). 

The last indicator in Chapter 1 focuses on the educational attainment of parents. In 2008, a higher percentage of Asian children had a mother with at least a bachelor's degree than did White, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native children (indicator 5). In addition, a higher percentage of Asian children had mothers with at least a bachelor's degree than Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander children and children of two or more races. This pattern was also true for the percentages of children with a father who had at least a bachelor's degree. 


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