Education researchers have long kept an eye on the changing demographics of public schools, some looking at the potential for those shifts to shepherd in inequity as ethnic groups migrate or fluctuate in size.
As the number of Hispanic students grows, for instance, the education landscape is adapting to meet their particular needs, as well — be it more representation in children’s books or busing a mobile preschool to kids in rural areas.
With the release of new data from the American Community Survey, EdSurge decided to take a look at demographic shifts in the school districts of five fast-growing areas around the U.S. to see how their communities have changed. The chart compares racial and ethnic makeup of the residents within each school district (not only students) from 2009 to 2021.
We selected this timeframe because each year actually represents the tailend of five-year data estimates, with data gathered from 2005-2009 and the newest from 2017-2021. Utilizing five-year estimates rather than year-by-year survey data is more reliable, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
We also chatted with a few experts who added useful context to the numbers: how one school district has responded to its evolving demographics and what implications the changes have for students who are learning English as their second language.