The racial and ethnic diversity of the nation’s 6.6 million teachers has increased since 1990 but has not caught up with the diversity of their students, according to a U.S. Census Bureau analysis of employment and population data.
About one quarter of all teachers in 2018 were nonwhite compared to 16 percent three decades ago. Nationally, the percentage of teachers who were Asian, Black or African American, or Hispanic or Latino increased across all teaching occupations since 1990.
Among preschool and kindergarten teachers, the share of Asian, Black or African American, or Hispanic or Latino increased by 15.6 percentage points between 1990 and 2018. The study found that nationwide 51 percent of preschool students were White but 63.4 percent of the teachers were White.
At the high school level, 52 percent of the students were White but 78.2 percent of all teachers were White. Blacks were 14.3 percent of all high school students but Blacks were just 7.8 percent of all high school teachers.
College teachers saw one of the largest declines in White, non-Hispanic or Latino teachers with a 13 percentage-point drop. Among the same teaching group, the share of Asian teachers increased significantly from 7.7 percent to 12.8 percent period. The percentage of Hispanic or Latino college teachers rose from 3.7 percent in 1990 to 7.1 percent in 2018.