The 2006 edition of the Digest of Education Statistics is the 42nd in a series of publications initiated in 1962. The Digest has been issued annually except for combined editions for the years 1977–78, 1983–84, and 1985–86. Its primary purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To qualify for inclusion in the Digest, material must be nationwide in scope and of current interest and value. The publication contains information on a variety of subjects in the field of education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons. Supplemental information on population trends, attitudes on education, education characteristics of the labor force, government finances, and economic trends provides background for evaluating education data. Although the Digest contains important information on federal education funding, more detailed information on federal activities is available from federal education program offices.
The Digest contains seven chapters: All Levels of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, Postsecondary Education, Federal Programs for Education and Related Activities, Outcomes of Education, International Comparisons of Education, and Libraries and Educational Technology. Preceding these chapters is an Introduction that provides a brief overview of current trends in American education, which supplements the tabular materials in chapters 1 through 7. The Digest concludes with an appendix that is divided into several sections. The Guide to Sources provides a brief synopsis of the surveys used to generate the tabulations for the Digest. Also, a Definitions section is included to help readers understand terms used in the Digest.
In addition to updating many of the statistics that have appeared in previous years, this edition contains new material, including
Updates to tables from the next Digest of Education Statistics will appear on the NCES website prior to printing the full edition. The Digest can be accessed from here.
Early Childhood, International, and Crosscutting Studies Division