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Facts for Features
CB08-FF.12
June 16, 2008

Back to School: 2008-2009

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

$7.5 billion

The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2007. Only in November and December -- the holiday shopping season -- were sales significantly higher. Similarly, sales at bookstores in August 2007 totaled $2.3 billion, an amount approached in 2007 only by sales in January and December.
Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services <http://www.census.gov/retail/>

For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2005, there were 24,659 family clothing stores, 6,305 children and infants clothing stores, 26,416 shoe stores, 9,501 office supply and stationery stores, 23,195 sporting goods stores, 11,077 bookstores and 9,589 department stores.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2005 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb07-78.html>

Students

75.2 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2006 -- from nursery school to college.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment

56%

Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in school in October 2006.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

72%

Percentage of children 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2006.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.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: 2009, Table 211 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

17,000

Number of students 30 and older enrolled in elementary school, as of October 2006.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

11%

Projected percentage of elementary through high school students enrolled in private schools this fall.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 211 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

41%

Percentage of elementary through high school students who were minorities, as of October 2006.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

23%

Percentage of elementary through high school students who have at least one foreign-born parent in October 2006. Five percent were foreign-born themselves.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

33%

Percentage of children 6 to 11 who participated in lessons as of 2004. Lessons include those taken after school or on the weekend in subjects such as music, dance, language, computers or religion. The corresponding percentage a decade earlier was 24 percent.
Source: A Child's Day: 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb07-156.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 2004, down from 30 percent a decade earlier. For children 12 to 17, the corresponding rate declined from 52 percent to 42 percent over the period.
Source: A Child's Day: 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb07-156.html>

7%

The percentage of children 6 to 11 who had ever repeated a grade as of 2004, unchanged from a decade earlier. For children 12 to 17, the rate declined from 16 percent to 11 percent over the period.
Source: A Child's Day: 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb07-156.html>

Languages

10.9 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who speak a language other than English at home; 7.8 million of these children speak Spanish at home.
Source: 2006 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov/>

Lunchtime

30.5 million

Average number of children participating each month in the national school lunch program in 2007.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 551 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

9.3 billion

The nation's total apple production, in pounds, in 2007, down from 9.9 billion in 2006. 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

18.4 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: 2009, Table 211 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

37%

Percentage of all college students 25 and older in October 2006; 55 percent of these older students attended school part time.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

69%

Percentage of undergraduates enrolled in four-year colleges in October 2006. Of those enrolled in such schools, 80 percent attended full time.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

46%

Percentage of 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in college in 2006.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

56%

Percentage of undergraduates who were women in October 2006.
Source: School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/2008-05-08_education.html>

8.6 million

Number of people who hold bachelor's degrees in business. Twenty-five percent of bachelor's degrees were in this field.
Source: What It's Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-16.html>

5.6 years

Average amount of time it takes people to complete bachelor's degrees. It took 4.4 years to complete an associate's degree.
Source: What It's Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-16.html>

How Many Schools?

97,382

Number of public schools in 2005-06. The corresponding number of private schools was 28,996 in 2005-06.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Tables 231 and 254 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

4,276

Number of institutions of higher learning that granted college degrees in 2005.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 269 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

3,690

The number of public charter schools nationwide in 2005-06. These schools, exempt from selected state and local rules and regulations, enrolled 1 million students.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 230 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

Teachers and Other School Personnel

7.1 million

Number of teachers in the United States in 2007. 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: 2009, Table 596 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$59,825

Average annual salary of public school teachers in California as of the 2005-2006 school year -- the highest of any state. Teachers in South Dakota received the lowest pay -- $34,709. The national average was $49,026. High school principals earned $92,965 annually in 2006-07.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Tables 244 and 247 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$15.48

Average hourly wage for the nation's school bus drivers in 2006-07. Custodians earned $13.78, while cafeteria workers made $11.16.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 247 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

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: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 252 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

The Rising Cost of College

$14,203

Average tuition, room and board (for in-state students) at the nation's four-year public colleges and universities for an entire academic year (2006-07). That is more than double the corresponding figure in 1990.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 282 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$38,400

Average tuition, room and board at the nation's four-year private colleges and universities for one academic year (2006-07). That also is more than double the corresponding 1990 figure.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 282 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

The Rewards of Staying in School

$82,320

Average annual 2006 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced degree. This compares with $20,873 for those without a high school diploma. In addition, those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $56,788 in 2006, while those with a high school diploma earned $31,071.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-10.html>

$59,408

Average starting salary offered to bachelor's degree candidates in petroleum engineering in 2007, among the highest of any field of study. At the other end of the spectrum were those majoring in the humanities, who were offered an average of $31,345.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 287 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$5,992

Average monthly earnings for full-time workers 18 and older with earnings who had a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Source: What It's Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-16.html>

$3,431

Average monthly earnings for full-time workers 18 and older with earnings who had a bachelor's degree in education.
Source: What It's Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2004 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-16.html>

Graduation

3.3 million

Projected number of high school diplomas that will be awarded in the 2008-09 school year.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 213 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

3.1 million

Number of college degrees expected to be conferred in the 2008-09 school year.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 213 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

Government Spending on Public Education

$9,138

The per-pupil expenditure on public elementary and secondary education nationally in 2006. New York ($14,884) spent the most among states or state equivalents, followed by New Jersey ($14,630) and the District of Columbia ($13,446). Utah ($5,437) spent the least per student, followed by Idaho ($6,440) and Arizona ($6,472).
Source: Public Education Finances: 2006 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb08-54.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 XLII (Feb. 3)
  • 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 (May 11)
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day (June 15)
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day (Sept. 1)
  • Grandparents Day (Sept. 7)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week (Sept. 21-27)
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27)
  • 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: February 10, 2014