Back to School by the Numbers

From the U.S. Census Bureau

by U.S. Census Bureau
graduation at the Fairmont School

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Back-to-School Shopping

$8.2 Billion

The estimated amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2014. Sales at bookstores in August 2014 were estimated at $1.6 billion.

For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2013, there were 27,340 family clothing stores, 7,047 children and infants clothing stores, 25,100 shoe stores 6,998 office supply and stationery stores, 7,064 bookstores and 8,102 department stores.


78 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2013 ? from nursery school to college. They comprised 25.9 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment


Fall enrollment for elementary and secondary public school systems in 2012.


The amount of current spending per pupil for elementary and secondary public school systems in the United States in 2013.


Percentage of children 3 to 6 years old who were enrolled in school as of October 2013.


Percentage of children ages 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2013.


Percentage of elementary through high school students who had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2013.


12 million

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



The number of colleges, universities and professional schools in the United States in 2013. There were 1,006 junior colleges.


Percentage of college and graduate school students 35 and older in October 2013. They made up 33 percent of those attending school part time.


Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college or graduate school in 2013.

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.

3.1 million

Number of enrolled high school students who worked less than full time, year-round in 2011; 146,000 students in high school worked full time, year-round.

Field of Degree

12.8 million

Number of people age 25 and over who held a bachelor?s degree in business in 2013. Business degrees were reported by 20.5 percent of the population with a bachelor?s degree, followed by education (13.2 percent); science and engineering related fields (9.1 percent); engineering (7.8 percent); social sciences (7.7 percent); biological, agricultural and environmental sciences (6.1 percent); and liberal arts and history (5.1 percent).


Percentage of those in 2012 who had a bachelor?s degree in science, technology, engineering or math ? commonly referred to as STEM ? and were not employed in STEM occupations.

Rewards of Staying in School


Average earnings of full-time, year-round workers 18 and older with a bachelor?s degree or higher in 2012. Workers whose highest degree was a bachelor?s had mean earnings of $70,432. Mean earnings for full-time, year-round workers with a high school diploma (includes GED certificate) was $41,248, while workers with less than a ninth grade education had $26,679 average earnings.