A Snapshot of the School Enrollment of Girls and Women in the United States

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau gives a detailed look at school enrollment in the United States. The report found that nearly one-quarter of the entire U.S. population over the age of 3 was enrolled in school in 2021. In 2021, school enrollment included 4.1 million preschool students, 4.0 million kindergartners, 32.9 million students in first through eighth grades, 17.3 million high schoolers, 16.6 million undergraduate students, and 4.6 million graduate students.

In 2021, women made up a larger percentage of college and graduate students than was the case at all other lower grades of education. Here are the numbers:

* There were 1,968,000 girls enrolled in preschool programs. They made up 48 percent of all preschoolers.
* There were 1,946,000 girls in kindergarten. They made up 48.5 percent of all kindergarten students.
* Girls were 48.5 percent of the nearly 16 million students in grades 1 to 4 and 49 percent of the more than 17 million students enrolled in grades 5 through 8.
* There were 8,355,000 girls enrolled in high school in 2021. They made up 48.4 percent of all high school students.
* In undergraduate higher education, women made up 55.4 percent of all students. At the graduate level, the 2,732,000 women students made up 59.5 percent of all students.

The report found that in 2019, about 51 percent of all boys and girls were enrolled in a preschool program. But the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant drops in enrollment either due to fears of contamination and/or families being less able to afford the expense of preschool education. By 2021, 41 percent of girls and 42 percent of boys were enrolled in preschool.

In 2011, there were more than 13,350,000 women enrolled in higher education. In 2019, before the pandemic, there were 12,040,00 women enrolled in higher education. Two years later in 2021, 11,850,000 women students were enrolled at colleges and universities.

The full report, School Enrollment in the United States: 2021, may be downloaded here.

Filed Under: EnrollmentsResearch/Study

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