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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 06, 2018

School Engagement Higher for Children Involved in Extracurricular Activities


NOV. 6, 2018 — A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that children tend to have higher levels of school engagement when involved in one or more activities, like sports, lessons or clubs.

The report, “A Child’s Day,” found that 42 percent of children who took lessons were highly engaged compared to 33 percent of children who did not. The report also examined school engagement and other measures of child well-being.

Children in poverty were less likely to participate in each of the three extracurricular activities (sports, lessons and clubs) than those not in poverty. Children with a college-educated parent were more likely to be in a gifted program, and less likely to have ever been expelled or repeated a grade.

Other findings include:

  • A lower percentage of children in homes that lacked access to sufficient food at some time in the last 12 months were highly engaged in school — 26 percent compared with 38 percent for children in food-secure homes.
  • Forty-two percent of school-aged children were involved in sports, 30 percent were involved in lessons, and 28 percent were involved in clubs. Nine percent of children participated in all three extracurricular activities.

A set of four historical figures (and accompanying tables) showing trends over time are also released along with the report. These figures show:

  • Extracurricular Involvement by Poverty Status
  • Extracurricular Involvement by Sex
  • School Outcomes (Gifted Program, Expulsion and Grade Repeat) by Poverty Status
  • School Outcomes (Gifted Program, Expulsion and Grade Repeat) by Sex

The report analyzes data from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a nationally representative panel survey administered by the Census Bureau. School engagement is measured in the report using four questions from the SIPP that ask parents about their child’s school-related attitudes and motivation.

No news release associated with this report. Tip Sheet only.



Daniel Velez
Public Information Office
Page Last Revised - January 26, 2023
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