U.S. Schools See Record Enrollments

Published October 1, 1997

The number of children attending public and private schools in the U.S. this fall will increase by 800,000 to a record 52.2 million, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Overall enrollment is expected to peak at 54.3 million over the next ten years, with projected increases of 1 percent in grades 1-5, 5 percent in grades 6-8, and 13 percent in grades 9-12.

California will see the largest enrollment increase, 35 percent. Other states expecting substantial increases are North Carolina (27 percent), Arizona (25 percent), Nevada (24 percent), Massachusetts (23 percent), and Rhode Island (21 percent).

Several reasons are cited for surging enrollments: immigration; Baby Boomers delaying marriage and child-bearing; higher birth rates among minorities, especially Hispanics; and students staying in school longer.