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Facts for Features
CB10-FF.14
June 15, 2010

Back to School: 2010-2011

By August, summertime will be winding down and vacations will be coming to an end, signaling 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 websites 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

$7.2 billion

The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2009. Only in December were sales significantly higher. Similarly, sales at bookstores in August 2009 totaled $2.5 billion, an amount approached in 2009 only by sales in January.
Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services <http://www.census.gov/mrts/www/mrts.html>

For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2007, there were 27,326 family clothing stores, 7,036 children and infants clothing stores, 27,213 shoe stores, 9,754 office supply and stationery stores, 23,756 sporting goods stores, 10,635 bookstores and 10,116 department stores.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

Students

76 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2008 — 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 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment

53%

Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in school in October 2008.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>.

72%

Percentage of children 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2008.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.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: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the 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: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 214 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

43%

Percentage of elementary through high school students who were nonwhite (single race) or Hispanic, as of October 2008.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

22%

Percentage of elementary through high school students who had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2008. Five percent were foreign-born themselves.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

50%

Percentage of kindergarten through 12th-grade students in California who had at least one foreign-born parent in 2006. California led the nation, followed by Nevada with 36 percent. New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and Hawaii were some of the states that 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/2008-05-08_education.html>

Nearly 80%

Percentage of students ages 12 to 17 who were academically on-track in 2006, up 8 percentage points from 1998. The odds of being on-track were 48 percent higher for these students if they were in a gifted class and 34 percent higher if they had never been suspended or expelled from school. (Students were considered to be academically on-track if they were enrolled in school at or above the grade level appropriate for their age.)
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 (Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being) <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-182.html>

52%

Percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who were highly engaged in school in 2006, up 5 percentage points from 1998. For 6- to 11-year-olds, the respective increase was from 56 percent to 59 percent.
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 (Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being) <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-182.html>

41%

Percentage of 6- to 17-year-olds who participated in sports in 2006, up from 34 percent in 1998. Participation in sports was the most popular extracurricular activity.
Source: A Child's Day: 2006 (Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being) <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb09-182.html>

Languages

10.9 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home in 2008; 7.8 million of these children spoke Spanish at home.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov/>

45%

Percentage of children enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in California who spoke a language other than English at home in 2006. 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. (The percentages for Texas and New Mexico were not significantly different from one another.)
Source: School Enrollment in the United States: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

Lunchtime

31 million

Average number of children participating each month in the national school lunch program in 2008.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 558 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

10 billion

The nation's total apple production, in pounds, in 2009. 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://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1113>

College

19.1 million

The projected number of students enrolled in the nation's colleges and universities this fall. This is up from 13.8 million 20 years ago.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 214 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

16%

Percentage of all college students 35 and older in October 2008. They made up 36 percent of those attending school part time.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

64%

Percentage of undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges in October 2008. Of those enrolled in such schools, 83 percent attended full time.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

49%

Percentage of 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in college in 2008.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

55%

Percentage of college students who were women in October 2008.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school/cps2008.html>

40%

Percentage of New Jersey residents who were college freshmen and attended school in-state, the lowest rate in the nation among states (as of fall 2006). Utah, at 90 percent, had the highest rate. (The District of Columbia had a rate of 29 percent.)
Source: National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 277 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

26%

Among freshmen enrolled in colleges and universities in Rhode Island, the percentage enrolled in their home state ─ the lowest percentage in the nation among states in 2006. Texas (92 percent) had the highest percentage in 2006. (The District of Columbia had a rate of 7 percent.)
Source: National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 277 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

How Many Schools?

98,793

Number of public schools in 2006-07. In 2007-08, there were 28,218 private schools.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 234 and 255 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/> (Note: Data for public and private schools pertain to different years because they were collected from separate surveys.)

4,352

Number of institutions of higher education in 2007.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the 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: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the 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. Almost 3 million taught at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder included those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary, preschool and kindergarten levels.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as cited in the 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: National Education Association and Educational Research Service as cited in the 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: Educational Research Service as cited in the 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: Market Data Retrieval as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 254 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

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 academic year (2007-08). That was more than double the cost in 1990.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the 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: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 282 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

The Rewards of Staying in School

$83,144

Average annual 2008 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced degree. This compares with $21,023 for those without a high school diploma. In addition, those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $58,613 in 2008, while those with a high school diploma earned $31,283.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/educ-attn.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: National Association of Colleges and Employers as cited in the 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 2010-11 school year.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 216 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

3.3 million

Number of college degrees expected to be conferred in the 2010-11 school year.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 216 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

Government Spending on Public Education

$10,259

The per-pupil expenditure on public elementary and secondary education nationally in 2008. New York ($17,173) spent the most among states or state equivalents, followed by New Jersey ($16,491) and Alaska ($14,630). Utah ($5,765) spent the least per student, followed by Idaho ($6,931) and Arizona ($7,608).
Source: Public Education Finances: 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb10-96.html>

Parental Involvement

89%

Among K-12 students, the percentage with a parent or other household member who attended a general school or PTO/PTA meeting during the 2006-07 school year. Additionally, 65 percent had such a relative who participated in school fundraising and 46 percent who volunteered to serve on a school committee.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 243 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>

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)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • 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: July 15, 2014