May 28, 2022

New Data/Report: The Condition of Education 2016 (U.S.)

Published by the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education.

The indicators presented in The Condition of Education 2016 provides an update on the state of education in America and includes findings on the demographics of American schools, U.S. resources for schooling, and outcomes associated with education.

Report findings include:

• Ninety-one percent of young adults ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2015, and 36 percent had a bachelor’s or higher degree. Median earnings in 2014 continued to be higher for 25- to 34-year-olds with higher levels of education, and in 2015, the unemployment rate was generally lower for those with higher levels of education.

• The percentages of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs in 2014 (43 and 66 percent, respectively) were higher than the percentages enrolled in 1990 (33 and 56 percent, respectively), but these percentages have not changed much in recent years. In the fall of 2013, public school enrollment was at 50.0 million students—over 2.5 million of whom were in charter schools. Postsecondary enrollment was at 20.2 million students in the fall of 2014, including 17.3 million undergraduate and 2.9 million graduate students.

• High-poverty schools accounted for 25 percent of all public schools in 2013–14. In that year, 24 percent of traditional public schools were high-poverty, compared with 39 percent of charter schools.

• In comparison to 2013, the national average mathematics score in 2015 for 12th-grade students was lower and the average reading score was not significantly different. Of particular note is that in both mathematics and reading, the lowest-performing 12th-grade students—those performing at the 10th and 25th percentiles—had lower scores in 2015 than in 2013.

• In school year 2013–14, an all-time high of 82 percent of public high school students graduated with a regular diploma within 4 years of first starting 9th grade. Sixty-eight percent of 2014 high school completers enrolled in college the following fall: 44 percent went to 4-year institutions and 25 percent went to 2-year institutions.

• About 57 percent of male students and 62 percent of female students who began their bachelor’s degree in the fall of 2008, and did not transfer, had completed their degree within six years. In 2013–14, over 1 million associate’s degrees, 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees, and over 750,000 master’s degrees were awarded.

• Students who exhibited positive approaches to learning behaviors more frequently in the fall of kindergarten had greater academic gains in reading, mathematics, and science between kindergarten and second grade than their peers who exhibited these behaviors less frequently. The relationships between initial approaches to learning behaviors and these academic gains were more pronounced for students from lower socioeconomic status (SES) households than for students from higher SES households.

• In fall 2013, among fall 2009 ninth-graders who had completed high school, three-quarters were enrolled at postsecondary institutions: 14 percent were taking postsecondary classes only and were not enrolled in a degree program, 3 percent were enrolled in occupational certificate programs, 25 percent were enrolled in associate’s degree programs, and 32 percent were enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs. The remaining 25 percent were not enrolled in a postsecondary institution at all.

• While 86 percent of all young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor’s or higher degree were employed in 2014, differences in employment outcomes were observed by occupation, sex, and race/ethnicity. For example, female full-time, year-round workers earned less than their male colleagues in nearly all of the occupation groups examined and for every employment sector (e.g., private for-profit, private nonprofit, government).


The Condition of Education 2016 At a Glance

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.