Helmut Schmidt, Published August 18 2012
Back to school facts and figuresEducation is a huge component of our lives, pumping up intellects and the economy.
Here are some back-to-school statistics from the U.S. Census.
No need to study. You won’t be tested in the morning.
Crack open the wallet
• Americans spent $7.7 billion at family clothing stores in August 2011. Only in November and December were sales higher.
• Sales at book stores in August 2011 totaled $2.4 billion, the strongest sales month of the year.
• For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2009, there were 28,520 family clothing stores, 7,092 children and infants clothing stores, 26,651 shoe stores, 8,945 office supply and stationery stores, 21,628 sporting goods stores, 9,390 bookstores and 8,663 department stores.
Education for all
• About 79 million children and adults were enrolled in schools throughout the country in October 2010 – from nursery school to college. They comprised 27 percent of the population age 3 and older.
• About 72 percent of children ages 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten attend school all day as of October 2010.
• About 24 percent of elementary through high school students had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2010.
• About 27 percent of students ages 12 to 17 were in a gifted class in 2009.
• Among 6- to 17-year-olds, 70 percent report being highly engaged in school – children reported as liking school, being interested in school and working hard in school – in 2009.
• About 11.8 million school-age children – ages 5 to 17 – speak a language other than English at home in 2010. Most of these children, 8.5 million, spoke Spanish at home.
• Sixteen percent of all college students were age 35 or older in October 2010. They made up 34 percent of those attending school part time.
• About 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in college in 2010.
• Who wears the smarty pants in the family? Women! The census said 56 percent of college students were women in 2010. This includes undergraduate and graduate students.
The rewards for staying in school show up on payday, according to a 2009 report on educational attainment in the United States.
• The median earnings of full-time, year-round workers with an advanced degree were $74,000 in 2009.
• Workers whose highest degree was a bachelor’s had median earnings of $56,000.
• Median earnings for full-time, year-round workers with a high school diploma were $33,000.
• Workers with less than high school diploma had $25,000 median earnings.