Since 1964, NCES has published projections of key statistics for elementary and secondary schools and higher education institutions. The latest report is Projections of Education Statistics to 2027 (NCES 2019-001). The Projections of Education Statistics series provides national data for elementary and secondary enrollment, high school graduates, elementary and secondary teachers, expenditures for public elementary and secondary education, enrollment in postsecondary degree-granting institutions, and postsecondary degrees conferred. The report also provides state-level projections for public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates. These models are described in the report’s appendix on projection methodology.
Differences between the reported and projected values are, of course, almost inevitable. In Projections of Education Statistics to 2027, an evaluation of past projections revealed that, at the elementary and secondary level, projections of public school enrollments have been quite accurate: mean absolute percentage differences for enrollment in public schools ranged from 0.3 to 1.2 percent for projections from 1 to 5 years in the future, while those for teachers in public schools were 3.2 percent or less. At the higher education level, projections of enrollment have been fairly accurate: mean absolute percentage differences were reported as 5.9 percent or less for projections from 1 to 5 years into the future in Projections of Education Statistics to 2026 (NCES 2018-019). (Projections of Education Statistics to 2027 did not report mean absolute percentage errors for institutions at the higher educational level because enrollment projections were calculated using a new model.)
Further information on Projections of Education Statistics may be obtained from