New data from the U.S. Census Bureau offers a snapshot of school enrollments in the United States in the fall of 2019, before the onset of the global pandemic.
In October 2019, there were 38,673,000 non-Hispanic Whites over the age of 3 who were enrolled in school. This made up 20.5 percent of all non-Hispanic Whites over the age of 3.
For African Americans over the age of 3, there were 11,551,000 students enrolled in school. They made up 28.0 percent of the total Black population age 3 or over. Thus, African Americans are significantly more likely to be enrolled in school than White Americans.
However, Whites in the traditional college-going age group of 18-21 are more likely to be enrolled in school than their African American counterparts. More than 61 percent of Whites in the 18-21 age group in October 2019 were enrolled in school compared to 54.4 percent of Blacks in this age group.
The overall advantage in school enrollments for African Americans is a result of a far higher level of enrollments among adults. At every group over the age of 21, Blacks are more likely to be enrolled than Whites. For example, 13.7 percent of Blacks ages 25 to 29 were enrolled in school in October 2019. For Whites in this age group, only 9.8 percent were enrolled in school. At age groups over 45, Blacks are two to three times as likely as Whites to be enrolled in school.