One-in-Five and Growing Fast: A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students

  • August 26, 2008
  • By Rick Fry, Felisa Gonzales, and Pew Hispanic Center

The number of Hispanic students in the nation's public schools nearly doubled from 1990 to 2006, accounting for 60% of the total growth in public school enrollments over that period. There are now approximately 10 million Hispanic students in the nation's public kindergartens and its elementary and high schools; they make up about one-in-five public school students in the United States. In 1990, just one-in-eight public school students were Hispanic.

Strong growth in Hispanic enrollment is expected to continue for decades, according to a recently released U.S. Census Bureau population projection. The bureau projects that the Hispanic school-age population will increase by 166% by 2050 (to 28 million from 11 million in 2006), while the non-Hispanic school-age population will grow by just 4% (to 45 million from 43 million) over this same period.1 In 2050, there will be more school-age Hispanic children than school-age non-Hispanic white children.

Using data from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), this report presents information on the demographic characteristics of Hispanic students in public schools. It compares Hispanic public school students with their non-Hispanic counterparts. The large sample sizes available in the ACS also enable detailed comparison of Hispanic students across generational groups.

Read the full report One-in-Five and Growing Fast: A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students on the Pew Hispanic Center Web site.