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Digest of Education Statistics: 2012
Digest of Education Statistics: 2012

NCES 2014-015
December 2013


The 2012 edition of the Digest of Education Statistics is the 48th in a series of publications initiated in 1962. The Digest has been issued annually except for combined editions for the years 197778, 198384, and 198586. 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 data on 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 Adult Education. 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 three appendixes. The first appendix, Guide to Sources, provides a brief synopsis of the surveys used to generate the Digest tables; the second, Definitions, is included to help readers understand terms used in the Digest; and the third, Index of Table Numbers, allows readers to quickly locate tables on specific topics.

In addition to updating many of the statistics that have appeared in previous years, this edition contains new material, including

  • Percentage distribution of 6- to 18-year olds, by parent’s highest level of educational attainment, household type (either two-parent or single-parent), and child's race/ethnicity (table 12);
  • Enrollment and percentage distribution of enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by race/ethnicity and region (table 44);
  • Number and percentage of public school students participating in programs for English language learners, by state (table 47);
  • Children 3 to 21 years old served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, by age group and race/ethnicity (table 49);
  • Percentage of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children enrolled in preprimary programs, by attendance status, level of program, and selected child and family characteristics (table 57);
  • Number and enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools that have closed, by school level and type (table 109);
  • Number and percentage distribution of public school students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, by school level, locale, and student race/ethnicity (table 112);
  • Public elementary and secondary charter schools and enrollment, by state (table 117);
  • First-time kindergartners’ reading, mathematics, science, cognitive flexibility, and approaches to learning scale scores in fall and spring of the kindergarten year, by selected child, family, and school characteristics (table 135);
  • Number and percentage distribution of kindergartners, by kindergarten entry status (i.e., early entrant, on-time entrant, delayed entrant, or kindergarten repeater) and selected child, family, and school characteristics (table 136);
  • Kindergartners’ reading, mathematics, science, cognitive flexibility, and approaches to learning scale scores in fall and spring of the kindergarten year, by kindergarten entry status (table 137);
  • Percentage of 9th-grade students participating in various school-sponsored and non-school-sponsored activities, by sex and race/ethnicity (table 183);
  • Percentage of 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-graders absent from school in the last month, by selected student and school characteristics and number of days absent (table 187);
  • Total and current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by function and subfunction (table 214);
  • Total fall enrollment in all postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV programs, by degree-granting status and control of institution (table 222);
  • Percentage of recent high school completers enrolled in 2-year and 4-year colleges, by income level (table 236);
  • Number of postsecondary students who entered the student loan repayment phase, number of students who defaulted, and 2-year student loan cohort default rates, by level and control of institution (table 400);
  • Number and percentage of persons 16 to 24 years old who were neither enrolled in school nor working, by educational attainment, age group, family poverty status, and race/ethnicity (table 429);
  • Employment to population ratios of all persons, males, and females 16 to 64 years old, by age group and educational attainment (tables 431, 432, and 433);
  • Unemployment rates of all persons, males, and females 16 to 64 years old, by age group and educational attainment (tables 434, 435, and 436);
  • Percentage of high school students age 16 over who were employed, by age group, sex, race/ethnicity, family income, nativity, and hours worked per week (table 441); and
  • Average reading literacy scale scores of fourth-graders and percentage whose schools emphasize reading skills and strategies at or before second grade or at third grade, by sex and country or other education system (table 462).

The Digest can be accessed from

Jack Buckley
Commissioner for Education Statistics