2010 Census Statistics and Education: Enrollment, Cost, and Outcomes

The United States Census Bureau has released educational statistics that have been compiled as part of its “How Do We Know?” initiative.  The statistics are broken down into three categories: enrollment, cost, and outcomes and displayed in a visually appealing infographic.

For enrollment, the Census Bureau focuses on showing the similarities and differences between educational enrollment in 1970 (during the peak period of baby boomers in school) and 2010.

  • The Census Bureau evaluates Americans between the ages of 3 and 34 and finds that in all but the grade school level (elementary and middle school), there are more students than there were in 1970.
  • The largest differences were in nursery school (.9 million in 1970 to 4.9 million in 2010) and college (7.0 million in 1970 to 18.9 million in 2010).  In other words, the largest increases in terms of who is receiving education in America concern its youngest and oldest students.
  • In 1970, only 27% of 3 to 5 year olds were receiving education whereas 60% of that age group were receiving education in 2010.
  • Most of those young children in school are in public, whole day education, an increase of over 40%.
  • In 1970, only 32% of 18 to 24 year olds were receiving education whereas 52% of that group were receiving education in 2010.
  • More specifically, the gender of those in college and graduate school has shifted: in 1970, 27% of men and 20% of women were enrolled but in 2010, 38.6% of men and 47.5% of women were enrolled.  Nearly half of American women between ages 18 and 24 are enrolled in college or graduate school.

In terms of the cost of education, the U.S. government spent $602.6 billion on education in 2010, out of which 52.7% was for instruction, 29.7% was for support services, 9.8% was for capital outlays, and 7.7% was for other. Only four states, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut, spent over $9,000 per year per pupil. Twenty three states, mostly those in the Northeast and upper Midwest, spent between $6,000 and $8,999 per year per pupil. The rest spent between $3,000 and $6,000 per year per pupil.

Finally, in terms of outcomes, the 2010 census strongly supports the known connections between level of education gained and income as well as the continuing discrepancy between what men and women of equal educational level earn per year. Starting at the level of those with graduate/professional degrees, who on average make $62,618 per year, those with bachelor’s degrees make roughly $15,000 less per year, those with some college or associate’s degrees make roughly another $15,000 less per year, those with only a high school degree make roughly another $5,000 less per year, and finally those without high school diplomas make roughly another $8,000 less than that per year. For those same respective categories, the men made more money per year than women did by roughly $28,000, $17,000, $12,000, $10,000, and $7,000.

The full breakdown of these statistics can be found at http://www.census.gov/how/infographics/education.html