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Annual Reports and Information Staff (Annual Reports)
Preprimary, Elementary, and Secondary Education

Public School Enrollment

(Last Updated: May 2021)

Between fall 2009 and fall 2018, total public school enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 12 increased by 3 percent (from 49.4 million to 50.7 million students), with changes ranging from an increase of 27 percent in the District of Columbia to decreases of 9 percent in Michigan and New Hampshire.

This indicator discusses overall changes in the number of students enrolled in public schools (including both traditional public schools and public charter schools) as well as changes by grade level and by state. In fall 2018, some 50.7 million students were enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools (prekindergarten [preK] through grade 12).1,2 Of these students, 35.5 million were enrolled in preK through grade 8, and the remaining 15.2 million were enrolled in grades 9 through 12.

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Figure 1. Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by level: Fall 2009 through fall 2018
Figure 1. Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by level: Fall 2009 through fall 2018

1 Includes students reported as being enrolled in grade 13.

NOTE: Data are for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data include both traditional public schools and public charter schools. The total ungraded counts of students were prorated to the elementary level (prekindergarten through grade 8) and the secondary level (grades 9 through 12). Some data have been revised from previously published figures.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education,” 2009–10 through 2018–19. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 203.10.

Figure 2. Percentage change in public elementary and secondary school enrollment, by state: Fall 2009 to fall 2018
Figure 2. Percentage change in public elementary and secondary school enrollment, by state: Fall 2009 to fall 2018

# Rounds to zero.

NOTE: U.S. average is for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data include both traditional public schools and public charter schools. Categorizations are based on unrounded percentages.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education,” 2009–10 and 2018–19. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 203.20.


1 In this indicator, public elementary and secondary school enrollment includes ungraded students for all years. This also includes a small number of students reported as being enrolled in grade 13, who were counted as enrolled in grades 9 through 12.

2 This indicator includes public elementary and secondary school enrollment in the United States, defined as including the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Supplemental Information

Table 203.10 (Digest 2020): Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by level and grade: Selected years, fall 1980 through fall 2029;
Table 203.20 (Digest 2020): Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by region, state, and jurisdiction: Selected years, fall 1990 through fall 2029;
Table 203.25 (Digest 2020): Public school enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 8, by region, state, and jurisdiction: Selected years, fall 1990 through fall 2029;
Table 203.30 (Digest 2020): Public school enrollment in grades 9 through 12, by region, state, and jurisdiction: Selected years, fall 1990 through fall 2029
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