New Data Shows Highest School Enrollment in Years

Total school enrollment experienced a growth of 1.3 million from 2021 to 2022, reaching a total of 75.2 million students enrolled, according to new data from the 2022 Current Population Survey (CPS). This marked the highest enrollment count since 2019 of 76.1 million students, from which it was not significantly different.

Since 2020, school enrollment has steadily increased and has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels; however, total school enrollment in 2022 remains lower than the 76.8 million students in 2018. Overall, the percentage of individuals ages 3 and older enrolled in 2022 (23.7%) remains lower than in 2019 (24.3%).

Nursery School and Kindergarten Enrollment

  • In 2022, the enrollment rate for children ages 3 and 4 in nursery school or kindergarten stood at 53.3%, 13.0 percentage points higher than enrollment in 2020.
  • In 2022, total enrollment in nursery schools or kindergarten reached 8.4 million. Although this number is lower than enrollment of 8.8 million in 2019, this year’s registration was substantially higher than in 2020, when 7.2 million students attended nursery school or kindergarten. 

Elementary and Secondary Enrollment

  • Of enrolled elementary students in 2022, 27.6% had at least one foreign-born parent, while 29.4% of enrolled high schoolers had at least one foreign-born parent. 
  • Of enrolled elementary school students in 2022, 70.4% were White alone, 15.7% were Black alone, 5.9% were Asian alone and 25.8% were Hispanic (of any race).
  • Of enrolled high schoolers in 2022, 72.2% were White alone, 14.5% were Black alone, 5.7% were Asian alone, and 25.9% were Hispanic (of any race).

College Enrollment

  • In 2022, college enrollment remained lower than in 2019, with 17.3 million college students compared with 18.3 million in 2019.
  • In 2022, 81.1% of students enrolled in college attended a public university or college. This is a 2.3 percentage point increase from 2020.
  • For enrolled college students ages 15 and older, 4.3 million students also were employed full time in 2022, compared with 4.8 million college students in 2021. Another 4.7 million college students were employed part time, while 8.2 million students enrolled in college were not employed.