AIR Experts Produce ‘Digest of Education Statistics,’ Sharing Data from Pre-K to Grad School

Washington, D.C. – Experts from the American Institutes for Research played an integral role in the production of the Digest of Education Statistics: 2015, the 51st in a series released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The Digest is a broad compendium of data on American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. It contains both new data and data on historical trends, and covers all aspects of education in the United States as well as international comparisons.

AIR analysts and editorial staff worked with data from complex survey designs and conducted statistical analyses and tests in order to create many of the 600 statistical tables, as well as develop statistical graphs and descriptive text for the volume.

AIR has provided key support to the Digest since 2004, and has contributed to it since 1999. The Digest was first released in 1962.

This year’s key findings include:

  • Between 1990 and 2014, the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who were high school dropouts—known as the status dropout rate—declined from 12.1 percent to 6.5 percent. While the status dropout rate declined for blacks and Hispanics during this period, their rates (7.4 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively) remained higher than the rate for whites (5.2 percent) in 2014.
  • In fall 2015, public schools enrolled 35.3 million elementary students and 15.0 million secondary students, according to projections. Public elementary enrollment is expected to increase 2 percent between 2015 and 2025, while public secondary enrollment is expected to increase 3 percent during the same period.
  • From 1976 to 2014, the percentage of college students who were Hispanic rose from 4 percent to 17 percent and the percentage who were black rose from 10 percent to 14 percent.

The full text of the Digest of Education Statistics: 2015 is available on NCES’ website.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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