U.S. school enrollment dropped 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, with those attending schools under age 35 dipping to the lowest level in more than two decades, as per the census bureau.
College enrollment also fell to the lowest since 2007, according to U.S. Census data released Tuesday. Most of the decline took place in two-year colleges, which dropped to a 20-year low. The percentage of 3- to 4-year-olds enrolled in school dropped from 54% in 2019 to 40% in 2020, making it the first time since 1996 that fewer than half of the kids in this age group were enrolled in school.
Three- to 4-year-old children of working mothers also saw a greater drop in nursery school enrollment than others of the same age group. Enrollments in nursery schools dropped by 25% while enrollments in kindergartens fell by 9%.
The Census Bureau cautioned that the data may have been impacted by data collection challenges spurred by the pandemic, and noted that the overall response rate to its Current Population Survey (CPS) was lower in 2020 than 2019.