A steady demographic change over the years has resulted in a decline in the number of whites in classrooms even as the total number of public school students has increased. In 1997, the U.S. had 46.1 million public school students, of which 63.4% were white. While whites will still outnumber any single racial or ethnic group this fall, their overall share of the nation’s 50 million public school students is projected to drop to 49.7%. Since 1997, the number of white students has declined by 15%, falling from 29.2 million to 24.9 million in 2014.
While the number of white students has declined, there have been large enrollment increases of Hispanics and Asians, two groups that have seen overall population growth. Since 1997, the number of Hispanic students nearly doubled to 12.9 million, and the number of Asians jumped 46% to 2.6 million. The number of black students expected in schools this fall, 7.7 million, has been relatively steady during this time.
Here are two fast facts:
- Minorities this fall are expected to make up 51% of public school students in grades pre-K through 8th grade and 48% of those in grades 9 through 12.
- Young Latinos alone accounted for at least 20% of public school kindergartners in 17 states, up from just eight states in 2000.overall share of the nation’s 50 million public school students is projected to drop to 49.7%.
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Source: Pew Research