Boomers weep

I get this e-mail from Lenny Gaines from Empire State Development, forwarding this Census report. He says: “For all you baby-boomers out there…. Seems like we’re no longer the largest school-age cohort.

“This report contains only national data.”

Yeah, yeah, whatever…

This is the kind of e-mail I get all of the time. I eat this stuff UP. It’s a disease, I know. Alas, no known cure.

I promise to NOT subject you to this stuff TOO often.

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 today.

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.

The data are from the October 2003 Current Population Survey. As in all surveys, the data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error.

Editor’s Note: The report can be accessed here

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