Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association


1-in-4 in Classrooms

School Enrollment Surpasses 1970 Baby-Boom Crest, Census Bureau Reports

The number of students enrolled in elementary and high school in 2003 —
49.5 million — surpassed the previous all-time high of 48.7 million set in
1970 when baby-boomers were of school-age, the U.S. Census Bureau reported

After peaking in 1970, total elementary and high school enrollment fell
during the 1970s and early 1980s. The enrollment increase of children of
baby-boomers is expected to decline slightly between 2005 and 2010. This is
due to a small decline in annual births from 1990 to 1997.

In 2003, 75 million people — more than one-fourth of the U.S. population
age 3 and older — were in school throughout the country, according to
School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students:
October 2003. Nine million children, age 3 and older, were enrolled in
nursery school and kindergarten, 33 million in elementary school and 17
million in high school. There were nearly 17 million college students.

In addition to an increase in births during the late 1980s, immigration
also contributed to the growth of the student population in elementary and
high schools. In 2003, more than 1-in-5 students had at least one
foreign-born parent.

Other highlights:

-- Nursery school enrollment has increased dramatically, from about
one-half million in 1964 to about 5 million in 2003, an increase
from about 6 percent to about 60 percent of children ages 3 and 4.

-- The vast majority of 5-year-olds (92 percent) were enrolled in school
in 2003, likely reflecting the availability of public kindergarten
in most states. During the past three decades, the share of children
this age attending all-day kindergarten increased, from 1-in-5 in 1973
to more than 3-in-5 in 2003.

-- Elementary and high school students today are more diverse than the
baby-boom generation of students.
In 1970, the student population was 79 percent non-Hispanic white, 14
percent black, 1 percent Asian and Pacific islander and
other races and 6 percent Hispanic. In 2003, 60 percent were
non-Hispanic white, 16 percent black, 4 percent Asian and 18 percent
Hispanic. (Data by race for 2003 refer to the single-race population,
and Hispanics may be of any race.)

-- The high school dropout rate of 3.8 percent in 2003 was not
significantly different from the 3.3 percent rate in 2002, but was lower
than the 4.7 percent rate in 2001.

-- In fall 2003, 46 percent of high school graduates ages 18 to 24 years
old were enrolled in college. College enrollment, totaling
16.6 million students, was up from 14.4 million a decade earlier.

-- In 2003, 1-in-3 of the nation’s 13 million undergraduate college
students was attending a two-year educational institution.

Need mailing lists to reach students? Contact NMOA advisor
Jerry Mamola at: Phone 732-833-4334
for personal and consultive help.

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