Census Calculates School Stats

A graduate of Harvard's Graduate School of Education wears a mortar board which reads, 'Will Teach 4 Food' during Harvard University Commencement exercises June 9, 2005 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
William B. Plowman/Getty
Students who will be going to school in the fall — some 75.8 million of them — will be judged by 6.8 million teachers for their ability to read, write, and work with numbers. But the numbers associated with schools themselves could make up several lessons. Here is a sampling, as compiled by the United States Bureau of the Census:

Student Enrollment

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2005, from nursery school to college: 75.8 million. That amounts to about one-fourth of the U.S. population age 3 and older.

The number of students who were home-schooled in 2003: 1.1 million. That was two percent of all students 5 to 17.


Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who speak a language other than English at home: 10.5 million, about 1 in 5 in this age group. Most of them (7.5 million) speak Spanish at home.


Average number of children participating each month in the national school lunch program in 2006: 30.1 million.

After School

Percentage of children 12 to 17 who participated in sports as of
2003: 42%, which was the most popular extracurricular activity. About
one-third of children this age participated in club activities and
29 percent in lessons. Lessons include those taken after school or
on the weekend in subjects like music, dance, language, computers
or religion.


The projected number of students enrolled in the nation's colleges and universities this fall: 18 million, up from 12.8 million 20 years ago.

Percentage of all 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in college in 2005: 49%.

Percentage of all college students who were aged 25 and older in October 2005: 37%. Fifty-six percent of these older students attended school part-time.

Learning and Earning

Percentage of high school students who were employed as of October 2005: 21%.

Percentage of full-time college students who were employed as of October 2005: 50%.

Average annual 2005 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced degree: $79,946

This compares with $54,689 a year for those with bachelor's degrees, $29,448 for those with a high school diploma only and $19,915 for those without a high school diploma.

Average starting salary offered to bachelor's degree candidates in petroleum engineering in 2006: $67,069, 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 $31,183.

Number of Schools

Number of public elementary and secondary schools in 2003-04: 95,726. The corresponding number of private elementary and secondary schools was 28,384.

Number of institutions of higher learning that granted college degrees in 2005: 4,276.

The number of public charter schools nationwide in 2004-05: 3,294. These schools, granted a charter exempting them from selected state and local rules and regulations, enrolled 887,000 students.

Teachers and Other School Personnel

Number of teachers in the United States in 2006: 6.8 million. Some 2.7 million teach at the elementary and middle-school level. The remainder includes those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary and preschool and kindergarten levels.

Average annual salary of public elementary and secondary school teachers in Connecticut as of the 2003-2004 school year: $57,300, the highest of any state. Teachers in South Dakota received the lowest pay: $33,200. The national average was $46,800. High school principals earned $86,938 annually in 2004-05.

Average hourly wage for the nation's school bus drivers in 2004-05: $14.18 Custodians earned $12.61, while cafeteria workers made $10.33.