Tuesday, December 11, 2012

California Public School Demographics

The following charts were created using source information provided by the Ed-Data Education Data Partnership web site.  The student enrollment and racial or ethnic source background data is here.

Total Enrollment (1993-2011)
The following chart shows the total enrollment in California public schools form 1993 until 2011.  Enrollment peaked at 6.322 million students in 2004 and has since dropped to roughly 6.2 million students, a 1.7% drop.


Enrollment by Student Race or Ethnicity (1993-2011)
The following chart shows the student enrollment in California public schools by student race or ethnicity.  The race/ethnicity categories are defined by Ed-Data.  The values along the right edge show the increase or decrease of a particular population group from 1993 to 2011.

Share of Total Enrollment by Student Race or Ethnicity
(1993-2011)
The following chart shows the share of total enrollment by race/ethnicity category over time.  The values along the left edge are the share of a particular race/ethnicity group in 1993 while the values along the right edge are their share in 2011.  For example, the share of Hispanic or Latino students increased from 36.1% in 1993 to 51.4% in 2011.

Race or Ethnic Background of California Population versus California Public School Enrollment
The California population data is form the United States Census Bureau California QuickFacts web site.  The racial or ethnic categories vary between Ed-Data and the Census Bureau. The Ed-Data groups include separate Asian and Filipino categories while the Census Bureau has a single Asian category.

Based on these data sets, it appears that there is a larger share of Hispanic or Latino students in California public schools than their share of the total California population.  Similarly, there is a smaller share of White students in California public schools than their share of the total California population.  The share of other racial or ethnic groups are roughly equal between the two charts.  Some possible explanations for the differences between the two charts include the following.
  • There may be more Hispanic or Latino residents that are of school age.  In other words, the Hispanic or Latino population mix may be heavily tilted toward younger people.
  • There may be fewer White residents that are of school age.  In other words, the White population may tend to be older.
  • Due to chronic under funding and lower-than-average test scores, there may be some amount of "white flight" from the public school system into private schools.


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