Demographics: Who are today's kindergartners and preschoolers?
Gannett News Service
Jul. 1, 2005

Following are facts and figures about preschool and public school enrollments. The numbers are for 2003 unless otherwise noted:

4.9 million. Children enrolled in nursery school. That's 60 percent of all 3- and 4-year-olds, up from about 6 percent of children in the same age group in 1964.

70. Percentage of Hispanic 3-year-olds not enrolled in preschool, another name for nursery school, the lowest enrollment rate among racial and ethnic groups. At age 4, two in five were not enrolled in preschool.

3.7 million. Children enrolled in kindergarten. About 622,000 were in private schools. The rest attended public kindergarten.

92 Percentage of 5-year-olds enrolled in school. This likely reflects the nearly universal availability of publicly financed kindergarten. About three in five attended all-day kindergarten compared with one in five in 1973.

49.5 million. Students enrolled in elementary and high school. This surpasses the all-time high of 48.7 million set in 1970 when baby boom children were in school.

40. Percentage of elementary and high school students who were racial or ethnic minorities. In 1970, 21 percent were black, Asian or other races or were Hispanic.

22. Percentage of students with at least one foreign-born parent. About 6 percent had immigrated to the United States themselves; 16 percent were born here and had at least one parent born outside the country.

31. Percentage 15- to 17-year-olds enrolled below the grade most common for their age. More than half were boys. The reason could be late entry into school or a need to repeat grades after entering school. In 1994, only 19 percent of these children were in a grade lower than usual for their age.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.