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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

Back-to-School Shopping

$8.6 billion

The estimated amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2013. Sales at bookstores in August 2013 were estimated at $1.6 billion.

For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2012, there were 25,421 family clothing stores, 6,945 children and infants clothing stores, 25,455 shoe stores 7,443 office supply and stationery stores, 20,893 sporting goods stores, 7,244 book stores and 8,196 department stores.


78 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2012 -- from nursery school to college. They comprised 26.4 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment


Percentage of children ages 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2012.


Percentage of children 3 to 6 years old who were enrolled in school as of October 2012.


Percentage of elementary through high school students who had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2012.


12 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home in 2012; 8.6 million of these children spoke Spanish at home.



Percentage of college students 35 and older in October 2012. They made up 32 percent of those attending school part time.


Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college in 2012.br />

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

12.5 million

Number of people age 25 and over who held a bachelor's degree in business in 2012. Business degrees were reported by 20.5 percent of the population with a bachelor's degree, followed by education (13.5 percent); science--and engineering--related fields (9.1 percent); engineering (7.8 percent); social sciences (7.7 percent); biological, agricultural and environmental sciences (6.2 percent); other (5.3 percent); liberal arts and history (5.0 percent); psychology (4.7 percent); literature and languages (4.4 percent); computers, mathematics and statistics (4.2 percent); visual and performing arts (4.1 percent); communications (3.7 percent); and physical and related sciences (3.3 percent).


Percentage of those in 2012 who have a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering or math — commonly referred to as STEM — and are not employed in STEM occupations.

Rewards of Staying in School


Average earnings of full-time, year-round workers 18 and older with an advanced degree (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.

More from Back to School
Did you know?
According to the 2010 Census, Asians make up 4.8% of the U.S. population.