Digest of Education Statistics, Development of the Nation’s Authoritative Source for U.S. Education Statistics

Washington, D.C. The 44th edition of the Digest of Education Statistics, the nation’s most authoritative and comprehensive reference for statistics about education in the United States, was released on March 18, 2009 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

For the past 10 years, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has worked with NCES to produce the Digest and make education data available to the public. AIR staff provides expert analytic support, statistical programming, desktop publishing, and editorial advice for this flagship publication of NCES. AIR staff designed and implemented a software system that records education data and tracks progress on the creation of the hundreds of up-to-date tables used in the Digest.

The new edition contains more than 430 tables featuring information on a variety of subjects in the field of U.S. education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges; statistics about teachers, enrollments, and graduates; rates of educational attainment; federal funds for education; and international comparisons. Supplemental information in the Digest on population trends, attitudes toward education, the educational characteristics of the labor force, government finances, and economic trends provides a background for evaluating education data.

New and updated tables for the current edition include such information as:

  • In 2005–06, about 57 percent of 4-year-old children were primarily cared for during the day in center-based settings—such as early learning centers, nursery schools, and preschools, including Head Start (table 46). About 20 percent were cared for by their parents at home, 13 percent by relatives in a home-based setting, and 8 percent by nonrelatives in a home-based setting.
  • In 2007, about 95 percent of elementary school students and 93 percent of secondary school students did homework outside of school (table 156). Among elementary school students who did homework, 95 percent had parents who checked that their homework was done and 83 percent had parents who helped them with their homework at least once a week.
  • In 2006–07, U.S. colleges and universities conferred 68 bachelor’s degrees in Arabic, 261 in Chinese, 13 in Korean, and 311 in Russian (table 309).
  • Between 1976–77 and 2007–08, average undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board increased from $7,914 to $15,665, after adjusting for inflation (table 331).

The full report can be found via the National Center for Education Statistics.

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