U.S. Department of Commerce

Multimedia Gallery

You are here: Census.govNewsroomMultimedia GalleryAudioProfile America › First Public School
Skip top of page navigation

First Public School

April 23, 2014

You may Listen or download this story in .mp3 format or as a .wav file.

Profile America — Wednesday, April 23rd. America's first — and oldest — school is celebrating its 369th birthday today. The Boston Latin School started in 1635 with a handful of students meeting in the headmaster's home. Admission was by reading aloud a few verses from the Bible. Stressing a classical education and the development of independent thought, the school has long been considered one of the top public secondary schools in the nation. Its list of graduates includes John Hancock, George Santayana, and Leonard Bernstein. Ben Franklin is one of its famous dropouts. Today, there are 78 million children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country — from nursery school to college. They comprise 26.4 percent of the entire population age 3 and older. Of those students, 17 million are in high school. Profile America is in its17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: March 24, 2014