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The expansion of the school population is taking place at all grade and age levels. There were approximately 2.0 million more pupils in the fall of 1953 than in the fall of 1952. or this increase, 1.7 million took place among those in regular school and 300,000 among those in kindergarten. Since 1947, kindergarten enrollment has doubled, elementary school enrollment has grown by one-fifth, and high school enrollment by one-sixth. Fluctuations in college enrollment have occurred meantime, but the numbers in college in 1947, 1950, and 1953 were about the same.

About 35.0 million persons in the United States between the ages of 5 and 34 years represented in the 1953 survey

were in some kind of school. of those in school, the preponderant number, 23.2 million, were in elementary school (grades 1 to 8); an additional 7.3 million were in high school (grades 9 to 12); and 2.4 million, in college. These 32.8 million pupils were in "regular" school, according to the terminology used by the Bureau of the Census. IP the 1.7 million in kindergarten and the 600,000 in "special" schools (such trade schools and business colleges) were also included, the grand total would be 35.0 million. (See tables 1, 4, 6, and D.) Most of the tables in this

Although much of the increase in the school load during recent years has resulted from the entrance of more children into kindergarten and elementary school, a significant share of the increase has come from higher enrollment rates at the high school and college ages. The trend of enrollment rates by age from 1947 to 1953 is summarized in table A.1




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at ages


14 and 15 years,' about 97 percent were enrolled. Above these ages, the proportion in school drops off more and more

as age advances. (See table C.) Beginning with the age Broup 18 and 19 years, the proportion

of young

women who leave school exceeds that of young men. Women tend to marry at a younger age than men and a smaller proportion of women enter professional and managerial positions which usually require long periods of educational training.



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The extent to which students of high school age were attending elementary school

and were, therefore, "retarded" can also be inferred from table C. For example, 21 percent of those 14 and 15 years of age were enrolled in elementary school, whereas the normal ago in the fall for persons attending the last (eighth) grade of elementary school is 12 or 13; hence these persons may be said to have been at least one to three school years behind most of their classmates. Undoubtedly, those who are retarded are much more likely than other students to drop out of school when they reach the age of 16 or 17 years. The figures in table 8 show that nonwhite students above the age of 13 years

more often below the normal level of school than are whites.

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14 to 17 years...... 18 and 19 years 20 to 24 years. 25 to 29 years. 30 to 34 years.


64,000 124,000 152,000 152,000 102,000

100.0 10.8 20.9 25.6 25.6 17.2

314,000 280,000 34,000 30,000 29,000 95,000 89,000 63,000 93,000 59,000 69,000 33,000

Many factors besides poor performance at school work, of course, may account for retardation; for instance, starting school at an abnormally late age and missing terms because or sickness, service in the Armed Forces, and temporary employment.

Persons who discontinue attendance

at regular schools of ten supplement their earlier school training by going to' "special" schools where they may learn a trade or take a business course, In October 1953, about equal numbers of MOD and women were in such schools. (See table D.) There was no important change between 1952 and 1953 in the number attending special schools, but the number in 1953 was only about two-thirds as large as that for 1950 when half

Attendance at private schools was more common among kindergarten pupils than among elementary school pupils or high school pupils. During the

last five years, there has been an increase from about 10 percent to a bout 12 percent in the proportion

of elementary school children attending privately operated schools. Among college or university students, more than one-half (56 percent) were going to private schools. (See table 7.) Somewhat more females than

males were enrolled in private schools. White.children were four times as likely to be attending private elementary or high schools as were nonwhite children.


rollment (through "drop outs" during the school year, etc.) but also the level of school in which persons of a given age are enrolled.


Advance figures for 1953 on school enrollment were issued in Series P-20, No. 51, "School Enrollment Continues to Rise," December 9, 1953. Additional statistics on school enrollment for 1953 are presented in Series P-50, No. 51, "Employment of Students," January 11, 1954. Statistics on school enrollment for October of years prior to 1953 have been published in the following reports in Series P-20: No. 45

(1952), No. 40 (1951), No. 34 (1950), No. 30 (1949), No. 24 (1948), No. 19 (1947), and No. 1 (1946); and in

Series P-S, No. 9 (1945). Enrollment data for April 1947 were published in Series P-20, No. 12. Data on educational attainment and illiteracy for persons 14 years old and over in October 1952 were published in Series P-20, No. 45.

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Data from school systems. --Information school enrollment and educational attainment is also collected and published by Federal, State, and local governmental agencies,

and by

independent research organizations. This information is obtained from reports of school systems and institutions of higher learning, and from other surveys and census es. These data are only roughly comparable with data collected by the Bureau of the Census by household interviews, however, because of differences in definitions, subject matter covered, time references, and enumeration methods. To illustrate, for comparable grades, the enrollment figures of the Bureau of the Census tend to be lower than those in the Biennial Survey of Education conducted

by the

United States Office of Education, largely because the census data refer to shorter time periods and count a person only once, although he may have attended more than one school during the reporting period. In the biennial survey, some persons are included in the enrollment figures more than once, such as those enrolled in both public and private schools and , generally, those enrolled in two different States at any time during the school year.

Furthermore, children enrolled in kindergarten

included in the total enrollment figures of the orrice of Education but not in those of the Bureau of the Census. Census data are subject to sampling variability, which may be relatively large for small age groups and for kindergarten and college enrollment.

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1950 Census data.--Statistics on school enrollment and educational attainment for cities, standard metropolitan areas, States, regions, and the United States appear in Volume II of the 1950 Census of Population. Detailed statistics on school enrollment and educational attainment by age and socio-economic characteristics for regions and the United States are presented in a special report of

the 1950 Census entitled Education."


Population coverage.--The figures shown for 1947 to 1953 are for the civilian population excluding the relatively small number of inmates of institutions.

Figures on school enrollment from the Current Population Survey for 1953 may differ from 1950 Census data for reasons other than the oirference in the dates. In the first place, the data for 1953 exclude the institutional population and members of the Armed Forces living in barracks on post in the United States. These two groups

were included in the 1950 Census. Second, there were differences in field work. The small group of Current Population Survey enumerators were more experienced and had more intensive training and supervision than the large number of temporary census enumerators

and may have more often obtained more accurate answers from respondents.


the enrollment data for the two periods differ because the census was taken in April and relates to enrollment since February 1, whereas the survey was taken in October and relates to enrollment in the current term. This difference in months of the year affects not only the extent of school en

Urban and rural residence. --The definition of urban and rural areas which was used in the October 1953 survey was the same as that used in the 1950 Census, but it differed substantially from that used in surveys

and censuses before 1950. According to the definition that

was adopted for use in the 1950 Census, the urban population comprises all persons living in (a) places of 2,500 inhabitants or more incorporated as cities, boroughs, and villages; (b) incorporated towns of 2,500 inhabitants or more, except in New England, New York, and Wisconsin, where "towns" are simply minor civil divisions of

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Type of school.--The statistics on type of school indicate the number of per sons enrolled

each of three levels: Elementary school (generally first to eighth grades), high school (generally ninth to twelfth grades), and college or professional school. The last group includes graduate students in colleges or universities. Persons enrolled in Junior high school through the eighth grade are classified as in elementary school, and the others as in high school.

Public or private school.--In this report, a public school is defined as any educational institution under the legal control of a public body.

Farm and nonfarm residence.--The rural population is subdivided into the rural-farm population, which comprises all rural residents living on farms, and the rural-nonfarn population, which comprises the remaining rural population. The method of determining farm and nonfarm residence in the October 1953 Current Population Survey is the same as that used in the 1950 Census but differs somewhat from that used in censuses and surveys before 1950.

In the 1950 Census, as in the present survey, persong on "farms" who were paying cash rent for their house and yard only were classified as nonfarm; furthermore, persons in institutions, summer camps, and tourist courts were classified as nonfarm,


The estimates for the

years 1947

through 1953 presented in this report are based on data obtained in connection with the Bureau of the Census monthly population sample survey, the sample consisting of about 25,000 households located in 68 areas in 42 States and the District of Columbia.

Age. --The age classification is based on the age of the person at his last birthday.

Color.--The term "color" refers to the division or the population into two groups, white and nonwhite. The nonwhite group includes Negroes, Indians, Japanese, Chinese, and other nonwhite races.

Revisions in estimating procedure. --The estimating procedure used in the surveys involves, as a final step, the inflation of weighted sample results to independent estimates of the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States, Prior to 1953 these independent estimates were made separately for various age, sex, and veteran status classes, and were based on statistics from the 1940 Census of Population; statistics of births, deaths, immigration, and emigration; and statistics

on the

strength of the Armed Forces and separation records. For the 1953 data, the independent estimates were by age, color, and sex and were based on the results of the 1950 Census ad justed for later births, deaths, etc.

School enrollment.--The school enrollment statistics for October 1953 are based on replies to the enumerator's inquiry as to whether the person had been enrolled at any time during the current term or school year in any type of day or night school, public, parochial, or other private school


the regular school system. Such schools include elementary schools (but not kindergartens); high schools (including junior and senior high); and colleges, universities, and professional schools. Children enrolled in kindergarten are not included in the enrollment figures for "regular" schools, but are shown separately. Persons attending "special" schools not in the regular school system, such as trade schools or business colleges, are also not included in the enrollment figures but are shown separately. Persons enrolled in classes which do not require physical presence in school, such

correspondence courses or other courses of independent study, and in training courses given directly on the job, are neither reported as enrolled in school nor included in the "special" school category.

Although the introduction of the new population levels should improve the accuracy of the statistics, it creates some discontinuities in the published series. The figures

for 1950, 1951, and 1952 which are presented in this report have been revised to make them consistent with the new population estimates for those years. The estimated number of persons enrolled for 1952 on the new basis is 900,000 less than on the

former basis; for 1951 and 1950, the difference is 800,000. IP comparisons are made with data for these years contained in earlier publications, these differences should be taken into consideration.

For years

prior to

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1950, in the years 1947 through 1953. (Table E presents standard errors ior odds of 2 in 3 rather than 19 in 20 as shown in earlier reports in the P-20 series.)

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The standard error is a measure of sampling variability. The chances are about 2 out of 3 that the difference due to sampling variability between an estimate and the figure that would have been obtained from a complete count of the populetion is less than the standard error. The amount by which the standard error must be multiplied to obtain other odds deemed more appropriate can be found

in most statistical textbooks. For example, the chances are about 19 out of 20 that the difference is less than twice the standard error and 99 out of 100 that it is less than 2 times the standard error. For the statements in the text of this report, the criterion of twice the standard error (odds of 19 in 20 or better) has generally been used in determining that differences between sample estima tes are not likely to have occurred by chance.

The sampling variability of an estima ted percentage depends upon both the size of the percentage and the size of the total on which it: is based. Table E

presents the approximate standard errors of estimated percentages based on totals of selected sizes for the United States

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subtracting one figure from another. The standard error of an observed difference between two estimates depends upon the standard error of each of the estimates and the correlation between them. The standard errors of estimates relating to the rural-farm population, nonwhite population, and college students tend to be somewhat higher than that indicated in the table above.

The standard error of an absolute estimate for 1953 depends not only on the size of the estimate but also on the distribution of

the estimate by the ago, color, and sex control groups. The following are examples of the sampling variability of absolute estimates, The number of persons 5 to 34 years of age enrolled in school in 1953 was estima ted at 32,796,000. The chances are about 2 out of 3 that a complete census would have yielded a figure between 32 ,468,000 and 33,124,000. The number

of persons 14 and 15 years

enrolled in school was estimated at 4,358,000. The chances are about 2 out of 3

that a complete census would have yielded a figure between 4,323,000 and 4,393,000.

of age

In addition to sampling variation, the estimates are subject to biases due to errors of response and to nonreporting, but the possible effect of such biases is not included in the above me a sures of reliability.

In general, the individual figures in this report are rounded to the nearest thousand without being adjusted to group totals, which are independently rounded.

The standard errors shown above are not directly applicable to differences obtained by

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