August 20, 2012

Hispanic Student Enrollments Reach New Highs in 2011

II. Hispanic Public School Enrollments

Newly available data indicate that the nation’s Hispanic student population continues to grow. More than 12.4 million Hispanics were enrolled in the nation’s public schools pre-K through 12th grade in October 2011, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Overall, Hispanic students make up nearly one-quarter (23.9%) of the nation’s public school enrollment, up from one-fifth (19.9%) in 2005 and 16.7% in 2000.

Growth in the share of Hispanics among all public school students reflects growth in their share among younger public school students. In 2011, for the first time, one-quarter (25%) of public elementary school children were Hispanic. This follows on the heels of other Hispanic student population milestones. In 2007, more than 25% of all kindergarten students were Hispanic for the first time, and in 2006 Hispanics reached the one-quarter milestone among all nursery school students. 4 Hispanic children made up 26% of public nursery school enrollments in October 2011. However, Hispanic children are less likely to enroll in nursery schools overall than other children. In October 2011, Hispanic children were only 20% of all nursery school enrollments at both private and public schools.]

In 2011, Hispanics made up 21% of all public high school student enrollments. As students in nursery school progress through kindergarten and into elementary school and high school, Hispanic students will make up a rising share of public high school students and all public school students in coming years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2036 Hispanics are projected to compose one-third of the nation’s children ages 3 to 17 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008).

Cite this publication: Richard Fry and Mark Hugo Lopez. “Hispanic Student Enrollments Reach New Highs in 2011.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2012) http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/08/20/hispanic-student-enrollments-reach-new-highs-in-2011/, accessed on July 22, 2014.

  1. Hispanic children made up 26% of public nursery school enrollments in October 2011. However, Hispanic children are less likely to enroll in nursery schools overall than other children. In October 2011, Hispanic children were only 20% of all nursery school enrollments at both private and public schools.