Connecticut is expected to have the nation’s third-fastest decline in students enrolled in high school over the next 10 years, the U.S. Department of Education reports.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

This anticipated 11.6 percent decline means an estimated 17,400 fewer students will be attending high school in 2024 than in 2012, and 5,400 fewer will be graduating each year. Only New Hampshire and Vermont are expected to have larger declines during the same period, with estimated drops of 14.1 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.

Nationwide, the percentage of high school students is expected to increase by 2.7 percent, the report, issued Thursday, said.

Connecticut has seen steady decreases in the number of students of all grades attending public school in the state over the last decade. This report, however, shows the decline is largely among high school students. The number of students estimated through grade 8 is not expected to change much, or 0.3 percent by 2024.

This huge decrease in high school students is likely to affect the state’s public colleges and universities, as recent graduates are a major pipeline for college enrollment.

High school enrollment in Connecticut’s schools has declined by 3.6 percent since 2006, and there have been major losses of enrollment at the state community colleges and regional Connecticut state universities.

Read the full report from U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics here. The report includes regional, racial and ethnic data and data about post-secondary enrollments.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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