Monday, August 13, 2007

Fun facts to know and share

A secret about education reporting: Just about anything you can write about, somebody out there has studied it and has research and statistics to drop in my inbox. Today, some interesting data from the U.S. Census Bureau on back-to-school season:

Back-to-School Shopping

$7.1 billion: The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2006. Only in November and December — the holiday shopping season — were sales significantly higher. Similarly, sales at bookstores in August 2006 totaled $2.1 billion, an amount approached in 2006 only by sales in January and December.


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

55.8 million: The projected number of students to be enrolled in the nation’s elementary and high schools (grades K-12) this fall.

11 percent of elementary and high school students enrolled in private schools this fall.
41 percent of elementary and high school students were minorities, as of October 2005.
22 percent of elementary and high school students had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2005.
42 percent of children 12 to 17 participated in sports as of 2003, which was the most popular extracurricular activity.


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


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

37 percent of all college students were 25 and older in October 2005
56 percent of undergraduates were women in October 2005. Among graduate students, the corresponding percentage was even higher: 59 percent.

$13,425: Average tuition, room and board (for in-state students) at the nation’s four-year public colleges and universities for an entire academic year (2005-06). That is more than double the corresponding figure in 1990.

$36,510: Average tuition, room and board at the nation’s four-year private colleges and universities for one academic year (2005-06). That also is more than double the corresponding 1990 figure.

Other figures:

1.1 million: Number of students who were home-schooled in 2003. That was 2 percent of all students 5 to 17.
6.8 million: Number of teachers in the United States in 2006. Some 2.7 million teach at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder include those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary and preschool and kindergarten levels.
$57,300: Average annual salary of public elementary and secondary school teachers in Connecticut as of the 2003-2004 school year — 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.
$14.18: Average hourly wage for the nation’s school bus drivers in 2004-05.

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