Back to School: Census Bureau Facts for the 2013-14 School Year

U.S. Census Bureau provides facts and figures about Americans in school as we get ready for the 2013-14 school year.

Back to school facts from the U.S. Census Bureau
Back to school facts from the U.S. Census Bureau
This post was written by Local Editor Shannon Antinori.

As we kick off the month of August, back-to-school preparations will soon start to take precedence over summer activities, camps and vacations as another summer comes to a close.

From fees and scheduling to PTA information and school supply costs, Patch will keep parents and students up to date with all of the important back-to-school information they need for a successful start to the 2013-14 school year.

The U.S. Census Bureau has compiled the following facts and figures related to back-to-school shopping and school enrollment in the United States, using data from 2011 and 2012.

Back-to-School Shopping

$8.5 billion

The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2012. Sales at bookstores in August 2012 totaled $2 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services


79 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2011—from nursery school to college. They comprised 26.9 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment


Percentage of children age 3 to 6 enrolled in all-day kindergarten as of October 2011.


Percentage of children age 3 to 6 enrolled in school.


Percentage of elementary through high school students who had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2011. 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students


11.8 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home in 2011; 8.5 million of these children spoke Spanish at home.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey 



Percentage of all college students 35 and older in October 2011. They made up 32 percent of those attending school part time.


Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college in 2011. 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, School Enrollment - Social and Economic Characteristics of Students

Work Status


Percentage of students enrolled in college, who worked less than full time, year-round in 2011; 20 percent worked full time, year-round.


Number of enrolled high school students who work less than full time, year-round; 145,740 students in high school worked full time, year-round.

Source: School Enrollment and Work Status: 2011 Appendix 

Field of Degree

12.0 million

Number of people age 25 and over who held a bachelor's degree in business in 2011. 

Business degrees were reported by 20 percent of the population with a bachelor's degree, followed by: 

  • Education: 14 percent 
  • Science and engineering related fields: 9 percent
  • Social sciences and engineering: 8 percent
  • Biological, agricultural and environmental sciences: 6 percent
  • Other, liberal arts and history: 5 percent
  • Psychology: 5 percent
  • Literature and languages: 4 percent
  • Computers, mathematics and statistics: 4 percent
  • Visual and performing arts: 4 percent
  • Communications: 4 percent
  • Physical and related sciences: 3 percent

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey

Rewards of Staying in School


Average earnings of full-time, year-round workers 18 and older with an bachelor's degree or higher in 2011. Workers whose highest degree was a bachelor's had average earnings of $70,459. 

The average earnings for full-time, year-round workers with a high school diploma or GED certificate was $40,634, while workers with less than a ninth grade education had $26,545 average earnings.

Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


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