*Errata Note: 10/20/21 - The headline of this release has been updated.
OCT. 19, 2021 — U.S. school enrollment dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, with enrollment among the under-35 population dipping to its lowest level (52.4% of the total population) in over 20 years, according to data tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The tables examine school enrollment at all levels during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS).
College enrollment fell to the lowest level since 2007. Most of the decline took place in two-year colleges, which had their lowest enrollment levels in 20 years.
Detailed tabulations, related information and historic data are available on the Census Bureau’s School Enrollment webpage at <www.census.gov/topics/education/school-enrollment.html>.
Data collection challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected some of the results reported here. Overall response to the October CPS declined from 84% in 2019 to 81% in 2020. During the pandemic, students may have continued their enrollment (i.e., to study) but in less traditional ways such as remote learning or by completing virtual or paper assignments. The various learning options increased the potential for misclassification of enrollment status, potentially artificially decreasing some enrollment estimates.
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