Percent of Population Ages 3 and 4 who are Enrolled in School: Census 2000

Organization: National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)


2000 State-by-State Census Data on Early Education and Care Enrollment 



 Children ages 3 and 4 7,701,024 100.0%
 Enrolled in school 3,795,049 49.3%
The U.S. Census Bureau released preliminary data on early education and care enrollment taken during the 2000 census. It shows 49.3% of America's 3- and 4-year olds were "enrolled in school" in the year 2000. This is similar to the finding of the National Household Education Survey (NHES) that 49.6% of 3- and 4-year olds were in nursery school programs in 1999. Both Census and NHES are useful sources of information, but only the Census allows for state-by-state comparisons.

Note that the Census does not report the percentage of children in any type of classroom, but only in classrooms considered to be "school." Some idea of how much difference this makes can be obtained from the 1999 NHES where both types of information are available. In the NHES, parents reported 57% of 3- and 4-year-olds to be in a classroom when childcare centers are included, compared to 49.6% in nursery school and preschool. (see note)

All States by Rank



 RankState Percent Enrolled 
 1 New Jersey 63.2
 2 Connecticut 61.1 
 3 Massachusetts  59.5 
 4 Maryland  57.7 
 5  New York 57.6
 6 Georgia  55.9
 7 Louisiana 55.7
 8 Florida 54.9
 9 Delaware 54.5
 10 South Carolina 54.0
 11 Illinois 52.5
 12 Rhode Island 52.4
 13 Virginia 52.3
 14 Mississippi 52.2
 15 North Carolina 51.1
 16 New Hampshire 51.0
 17 Hawaii 49.9
 18 Colorado 49.8
 19 Vermont 49.1
 20 Pennsylvania 49.0
 21 Michigan 48.9
  Alabama 48.9
 23 Kansas 47.3
  Ohio 47.3
 25 Missouri 47.2
 26 Tennessee 46.0
 27 California 45.8
 28 Oklahoma 45.5
 29 Minnesota 45.3
 30 Arkansas 45.2
 31 Washington 45.2
 32 Texas 45.1
 33 Wisconsin 44.9
 34 Nebraska 44.6
 35 Iowa 44.5
 36 Maine 44.4
 37 Kentucky 44.0
 38 Wyoming 43.5
 39 Montana 42.0
 40 Oregon 41.3
 41 New Mexico 40.4
 42 Utah 40.3
 43 Alaska 40.1
 44 Arizona 40.0
 45 South Dakota 39.9
 46 Indiana 39.7
 47 Idaho 36.9
 48 West Virginia 36.8
 49 Nevada 36.3
 50 North Dakota 34.4
  Source: Analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census, Summary File 3, Table PCT23, and the National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education) 1999 National Household Education Survey.

Note: The Census Bureau asks, "At any time since February 1, 2000 has this person attended regular school or college," inclusive of nursery school, preschool, kindergarten and possibly higher grades. A very small number of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in Kindergarten or higher. Private homes in which custodial care is provided are not considered nursery schools. Children enrolled in Head Start programs or similar programs sponsored by local agencies to provide preschool education to young children are counted under nursery school. The terms "nursery school or preschool" are defined as a group or class that is organized to provide educational experiences for children during the year or years preceding kindergarten. School includes childcare programs where "instruction" is an important and integral phase of the program. 

Related Areas of Work

X
(All Fields are required)