New Report Examines the Status and Trends of Racial and Ethnic Groups in Education

IES_NCESThe percentage of students completing high school and enrolling in college has increased over time for all racial and ethnic groups, according to a newly released report. However, despite these gains, the rate of progress has varied among groups, and gaps persist on key indicators of educational performance.

The National Center for Education Statistics recently released Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups, 2016. The report examines the educational progress and challenges students face in the United States by race and ethnicity.

The report finds that from 1990 to 2013, the dropout rate for Hispanic students decreased from 32 to 12 percent, but still remained higher than the rate for Black and White students. Over the same time period, the dropout rate for Black students fell from 13 to 7 percent and for White students decreased from 9 to 5 percent.

During those same years, the largest increases in undergraduate enrollment were observed for Hispanic and Black students. Hispanic student enrollment, as a percentage of total enrollment, increased 11 percentage points (from 6 to 17 percent) and Black student enrollment increased 5 percentage points (from 10 to 15 percent).

Other key findings from this report include—

The percentage of U.S. school-age children, ages 5-17, who were White decreased from 62 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2013. During this same time period, the percentage of children who were Black decreased from 15 to 14 percent. In contrast, the percentage of school-age children from other racial and ethnic groups increased during this period: Hispanics increased from 16 to 24 percent, Asians from 3 to 5 percent, and children of two or more races from 2 to 4 percent.

In 2013, about 4.6 million public school students participated in English language learner (ELL) programs. Hispanic students made up the majority of this group (78 percent), with around 3.6 million participating in ELL programs.

The percentage of students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2013 was highest for American Indian/Alaska Native students (16 percent), followed by Black students (15 percent), White students (13 percent), students of two or more races (13 percent), Hispanic students (12 percent), Pacific Islander students (11 percent), and Asian students (6 percent).

Between 1994 and 2014, the percentage of students retained in a grade decreased for both Black students (from 4.5 to 3.0 percent) and White students (from 2.5 to 2.0 percent). There was no measurable difference in the percentages of Hispanic students retained in 1994 and 2014; In postsecondary education, the 2013 graduation rate was 59 percent for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year, degree-granting institution in fall 2007. The 6-year graduation rate was highest for Asian students (71 percent) and students of Two or more races (68 percent), and lowest for Black and American Indian/Alaska Native students (41 percent each).

Among young adults ages 20 to 24, higher percentages of Black and American Indian/Alaska Native young adults (29 and 38 percent, respectively) were neither enrolled in school nor working in 2014, compared to White (16 percent), Hispanic (21 percent), and Asian (13 percent) young adults, as well as young adults of two or more races (15 percent).

To view the full report, please visit