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Facts for Features
CB09-FF.14
June 15, 2009

Back to School: 2009-2010

Summertime winding down and summer vacations coming to an end signal that back-to-school time is near. It's a time that many children eagerly anticipate -- catching up with old friends, making new ones and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan the newspapers and Web sites looking for sales to shop for a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials. This edition of Facts for Features highlights the many statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation's students and teachers.

Back-to-School Shopping

$7.6 billion

The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2008. Only in December were sales significantly higher. Similarly, sales at bookstores in August 2008 totaled $2.4 billion, an amount approached in 2008 only by sales in January.
Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services <http://www.census.gov/retail/>

For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2006, there were 25,430 family clothing stores, 6,417 children and infants clothing stores, 26,699 shoe stores, 9,425 office supply and stationery stores, 23,270 sporting goods stores, 10,989 bookstores and 9,969 department stores.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb08-96.html>

Students

76 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2007 -- from nursery school to college. They comprised 27 percent of the entire population 3 and older.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment

55%

Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in school in October 2007.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

71%

Percentage of children 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2007.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

56 million

The projected number of students to be enrolled in the nation's elementary through high schools (grades K-12) this fall.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 214 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

11%

Projected percentage of elementary through high school students enrolled in private schools this fall.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 214 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

42%

Percentage of elementary through high school students who were minorities, as of October 2007.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

23%

Percentage of elementary through high school students who have at least one foreign-born parent in October 2007. Five percent were foreign-born themselves.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

50%

Percentage of kindergarten through 12th-grade students in California who had at least one foreign-born parent. California led the nation, followed by Nevada with 36 percent. New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and Hawaii also had at least one-quarter of students this age with at least one foreign-born parent.
Source: School Enrollment in the United States: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-140.html>

12%

Percentage of children 6 to 11 who participated in lessons, sports and clubs as of 2006. Lessons include those taken after school or on the weekend in subjects such as music, dance, language, computers or religion.
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-31.html>

26%

Percentage of children 6 to 11 who had ever attended or been enrolled in first grade or higher and had changed schools at some point as of 2006. For children 12 to 17, the corresponding rate was 42 percent. (Does not include the normal progression and graduation from elementary and middle schools.)
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-31.html>

6%

The percentage of children 6 to 11 who had ever repeated a grade as of 2006. For children 12 to 17, the rate was 11 percent.
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-31.html>

67%

Percentage of children 6 to 17 whose parents reported that their kids often like school.
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-31.html>

Languages

10.9 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who speak a language other than English at home; 7.9 million of these children speak Spanish at home.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/>

45%

Percentage of children enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in California who spoke a language other than English at home. California, which led all states, was followed by Texas (35 percent), New Mexico (34 percent) and Arizona (32 percent). The national average was 21 percent.
Source: School Enrollment in the United States: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-140.html>

Lunchtime

31 million

Average number of children participating each month in the national school lunch program in 2008.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 558 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

9.9 billion

The nation's total apple production, in pounds, in 2008, up from 9 billion in 2007. The chances are good that the apples your children present to their teachers or enjoy for lunch were grown in Washington state, which accounted for more than half of the nation's total production.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov/>

College

19 million

The projected number of students enrolled in the nation's colleges and universities this fall. This is up from 13.5 million 20 years ago.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 214 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

15%

Percentage of all college students 35 and older in October 2007. They made up 36 percent of those attending school part time.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

66%

Percentage of undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges in October 2007. Of those enrolled in such schools, 82 percent attended full time.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

49%

Percentage of 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in college in 2007.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

55%

Percentage of undergraduates who were women in October 2007. Women comprised an even greater share of graduate students: 60 percent.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-36.html>

How Many Schools?

98,793

Number of public schools in 2006-07. In 2007-08, there were 28,218 private schools.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 234 and 255 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

4,352

Number of institutions that granted college degrees in 2007.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 269 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

3,970

The number of public charter schools nationwide in 2006-07. These schools, exempt from selected state and local rules and regulations, enrolled 1.2 million students.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 233 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

Teachers and Other School Personnel

7.2 million

Number of teachers in the United States in 2008. Some 2.9 million teach at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder includes those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary, and preschool and kindergarten levels.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 603 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

$63,640

Average annual salary of public school teachers in California as of the 2006-2007 school year -- the highest of any state. Teachers in South Dakota received the lowest pay -- $35,378. The national average was $50,758. High school principals earned $97,486 annually in 2007-08.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 247 and 250 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

$16.56

Average hourly wage for the nation's school bus drivers in 2007-08. Custodians earned $14.19, while cafeteria workers made $11.60.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 250 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

Technology

14.2 million

Number of computers available for classroom use in the nation's schools as of the 2005-2006 school year. That works out to one computer for every four students.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 252 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

The Rising Cost of College

$14,915

Average tuition, room and board (for in-state students) at the nation's four-year public colleges and universities for an entire academic year (2007-08). That was more than double the cost in 1990.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 282 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

$40,640

Average tuition, room and board at the nation's four-year private colleges and universities for one academic year (2007-08). That also was more than double the 1990 figure.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 282 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

The Rewards of Staying in School

$80,977

Average annual 2007 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced degree. This compares with $21,484 for those without a high school diploma. In addition, those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $57,181 in 2007, while those with a high school diploma earned $31,286.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-66.html>

$75,621

Average starting salary offered to bachelor's degree candidates in petroleum engineering in 2008, among the highest of any field of study. At the other end of the spectrum were those majoring in a social science, who were offered an average of $39,476.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 287 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

Graduation

3.3 million

Projected number of high school diplomas that will be awarded in the 2009-10 school year.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 216 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

3.2 million

Number of college degrees expected to be conferred in the 2009-10 school year.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 216 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

Government Spending on Public Education

$9,666

The per-pupil expenditure on public elementary and secondary education nationally in 2007. New York ($15,981) spent the most among states or state equivalents, followed by New Jersey ($15,691) and the District of Columbia ($14,324). Utah ($5,683) spent the least per student, followed by Idaho ($6,625) and Tennessee ($7,113).
Source: Public Education Finances: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-113.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 09, 2014