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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

$7.7 billion

The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2011. Only in November and December were sales higher. Similarly, 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.


79 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2010 & from nursery school to college. They comprised 27 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.

Pre-K through 12 Enrollment


Percentage of children 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2010.


Percentage of elementary through high school students who had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2010.


Percentage of students ages 12 to 17 who were in a gifted class in 2009.


Percentage of 6- to 17-year-olds who were highly engaged in school (children reported as liking school, being interested in school and working hard in school) in 2009.


11.8 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home in 2010; 8.5 million of these children spoke Spanish at home.



Percentage of all college students 35 and older in October 2010. They made up 34 percent of those attending school part time.


Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college in 2010.


Percent of college students who were women in 2010 (includes both undergraduate and graduate students).

Rewards of Staying in School


Median earnings of full-time, year-round workers with an advanced degree 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 was $33,000, while workers with less than high school diploma had $25,000 median earnings.

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The length of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race course alternates between 1,151 miles and 1,161 miles each year.

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