In 2009, nearly all 14- to 15-year-olds (98 percent) were enrolled in school; this percentage was equivalent to the percentage enrolled in 1980. In addition, about 95 percent of 16- to 17-year-olds were enrolled in school in 2009, representing an increase of over 5 percentage points from 1980.
For older youth, the current generation is enrolled in school at consistently higher rates than previous ones were. In 2009, about 69 percent of 18- to 19-year-olds were enrolled in school, compared to 46 percent in 1980. For 20- to 21-year-olds, 52 percent were enrolled in school in 2009, which represented an increase from 31 percent in 1980. For 22- to 24-year-olds, 30 percent were enrolled in school in 2009, an increase from 16 percent in 1980.
In 2009, the percentage of 18- to 19-year-olds enrolled in school was higher for females than for males (73 vs. 65 percent); in comparison, in 1980, there was no measurable difference in the percentage of males and females in this age group enrolled in school. Among 20- to 21-year-olds in 2009, a higher percentage of females were enrolled in school than males (55 vs. 49 percent). In contrast, a greater percentage of males (33 percent) than females (30 percent) in that age group were enrolled in school in 1980. Similarly, for 22- to 24-year-olds, some 32 percent of females and 29 percent of males were enrolled in school in 2009, a reversal from 1980 when a higher percentage of males were enrolled in school than females (18 vs. 15 percent).