National education data: K-12 enrollment more racially diverse compared to a decade ago

By: - June 1, 2022 2:42 pm

First grade Hispanic students raise their hands to answer a question during a class taught in Spanish. Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images.

The percentage of white and Black students enrolled in public K-12 schools has gone down over the last 10 years, but the Hispanic share grew, according to new federal data, indicating a growing population of students of color in U.S. schools.

Last week, the National Center for Education Statistics released a report called The Condition of Education 2022, which analyzes education data federal sources such as the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as international data collections.

The report analyzes a variety of statistics to capture what’s going in the United States’ education system, including the racial makeup of students enrolled in public schools.

According to the data, 54 percent of students were white in Fall 2009. In Fall 2020, the figure was 46 percent. Black students made up 17 percent of kids in Fall 2009. Ten years later, it’s 15 percent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Hispanic students went up. In 2009, 22 percent of students enrolled in public schools were Hispanic. In 2020, 28 percent of students were Hispanic.

The report explains:

“These compositional changes reflect divergent enrollment trends among these groups between fall 2009 and fall 2020.”

“During this time, public school enrollments among white students decreased from 26.7 million to 22.6 million, and Black students’ enrollment decreased from 8.2 million to 7.4 million. In contrast, Hispanic students’ enrollment increased from 11.0 million to 14.1 million between fall 2009 and fall 2019 before dropping to 13.8 million in fall 2020.”

Meanwhile, the data for private school enrollment works a little differently.

Reporting for Fall 2019, 66 percent of students enrolled in K-12 private schools were white, 12 percent were Hispanic, 9 percent were Black, and 7 percent were Asian.

But according to an earlier edition of the Condition of Education from 2011, reporting on the 2009-10 school year, 72.6 percent of students enrolled in the nation’s private schools were white, 9.2 percent were Black, 9.4 percent were Hispanic, and 5.7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.