Releases « Facts for Back to the school year
August 16, 2007 (reissued)
Back to School: 2007-2008
Summertime is winding down, and summer vacations are coming to an end. It’s back-to-school time! 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 are scanning the newspapers and Web sites looking for upcoming 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 interesting statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers.
The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2005. Only in October, November and December — the holiday shopping season — were sales equal or higher. Similarly, bookstore sales in August 2005 totaled .2 billion, an amount approached in 2005 only by sales in January and December. (The dollar volume estimates have not been adjusted for seasonal variations, holiday or trading day differences or price changes.)
To do your back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2004, there were 24,050 family clothing stores, 6,520 children and infants clothing stores, 27,253 shoe stores, 9,207 office supplies and stationery stores, 22,902 sporting goods stores, 11,218 bookstores and 9,360 department stores.
The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country — from nursery school to college. That amounts to more than one-fourth of the U.S. population age 3 and older.
Pre-K through 12
Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in school, up from 10 percent in 1964, when these data were first collected.
Percentage of children enrolled in kindergarten who attend all day.
The projected number of students to be enrolled in the nation’s elementary and high schools (grades K-12) this fall. See Table 204 at
Projected percentage of elementary and high school students enrolled in private schools this fall. See Table 204 at
Percentage of elementary and high school students who are minorities (i.e., people who are other than non-Hispanic white).
Percentage of elementary and high school students with at least one foreign-born parent. This includes 5 percent who were foreign-born themselves.
Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who speak a language other than English at home. These children make up nearly 1-in-5 in this age group. Most of them (7.1 million) speak Spanish at home. (Source: American FactFinder)
Average number of children participating each month in the national school lunch program.
The nation’s total apple production, in pounds, in 2005. 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.
The projected number of students enrolled in the nation’s colleges and universities this fall. This is up from 12.4 million a quarter-century ago. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Percentage of all college students age 25 and older. The majority of these older students
(59 percent) attend school part-time.
Percentage of undergraduates attending two-year institutions.
Learning and Earning
Percentage of high school students who were employed as of October 2004.
Percentage of full-time college students who were employed as of October 2004.
How Many Schools?
Number of public elementary and secondary schools. The corresponding number of private elementary and secondary schools is 29,273.
Number of institutions of higher learning that grant college degrees. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Number of students who are homeschooled. That is 2 percent of all students ages 5 to 17.
Teachers and Other School Personnel
Number of teachers in the United States. The bulk of them (2.6 million) teach at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder include those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary and preschool and kindergarten levels. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Average annual salary of public elementary and secondary school teachers in Connecticut as of the 2003-2004 school year — among the highest of any state in the nation. Teachers in South Dakota received among the lowest pay — ,200. The national average was ,800. See Table 238 at
Average hourly wage for the nation’s school bus drivers. Custodians earned .61 while cafeteria workers made .33. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Number of computers available for classroom use in the nation’s 114,700 elementary and secondary 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: 2007)
Percentage of public schools with Internet access as of fall 2003. See Table 244 at
83% and 43%
Percentage of children ages 3 to 17 using a computer and the Internet, respectively, at school as of fall 2003.
The percentage of children ages 3 to 17 accessing the Internet in fall 2003 — whether at home, school or elsewhere — to complete school assignments. This was the most common reason for children to use the Internet.
The percentage of children ages 3 to 17 using a computer at home in fall 2003 to complete school assignments. This was the second most common home computer use for children, behind playing games.
The Rising Cost of College
Average tuition, room and board (for in-state students) at the nation’s four-year public colleges and universities for an entire academic year; that is more than double the corresponding figure in 1990. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Average tuition, room and board at the nation’s four-year private colleges and universities for one complete academic year; that is more than double the corresponding 1990 figure. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
The Rewards of Staying in School
Average annual earnings of workers age 18 and older with an advanced degree. This compares with ,206 a year for those with bachelor’s degrees, ,915 for those with a high school diploma only and ,734 for those without a high school diploma.
Average starting salary offered to bachelor’s degree candidates in petroleum engineering, among the highest of any field of study. At the other end of the spectrum were those majoring in the humanities; they were offered an average of ,565. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Projected number of high school diplomas that will be awarded this school year. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Number of college degrees expected to be conferred this school year. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007)
Government Spending on Education
The per-pupil expenditure on elementary and secondary education nationally in 2004. New Jersey (,981) spent the most among states or state-equivalents, followed by New York (,930), the District of Columbia (,801), Vermont (,128) and Connecticut (,788). Utah (,008) spent the least per student, followed by Idaho (,028), Arizona (,036), Oklahoma (,176) and Mississippi (,237).
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February)
Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Back to School (August)
Labor Day (Sept. 4)
Women’s History Month (March) Grandparents Day (Sept. 10)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage
Mother’s Day (May 14) Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Father’s Day (June 18) Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23)
The Fourth of July (July 4) The Holiday Season (December)
Anniversary of Americans
with Disabilities Act (July 26)
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. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-457-3670; or e-mail: