Thursday, September 17, 2009

Current Demographics of the Nation's College Students

According to recent statistics, the nation's college students are growing in number and continue to become more diverse. Taken from the most recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education and using statistics from the 2007 school year, the following numbers are some interesting facts concerning the current make-up of college students in the United States:

  • There are over 18 million college students in the U.S. today.

  • Of those 18 million + students, close to 36% are American ethnic minorities and international students studying in the U.S.

  • Within the state of California there are over 2.5 million students (an amazing 14% of the country's total), of which 1.5 million are ethnic minorities.

  • Close to 1.2 million attend college in the state of New York (primarily due to New York City); almost half a million of them are ethnic minorities.

  • The number of Native American students is approaching 200,000.

  • Asian Americans now number 1.2 million students.

  • African Americans continue to be the largest ethnic minority represented on our campuses at over 2.3 million.

  • Hispanics/Latinos are the fastest growing demographic and now total close to 2.1 million students.

  • There are close to three-quarters of a million international students currently studying in the U.S.

  • Students of European descent are still in the overall majority with 11.8 million.

  • What does this all mean? The college campuses of the United States are becoming more diverse, the coasts are rapidly growing and our cities are home to many of the nation's students. In order to reach these students, campus ministries like those that I work with need to adopt new approaches to ministry that will effectively reach students of color, those that speak a primary language other than English and those in our major cities. The times they are a changin'.

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