Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 Demographics for U.S. College Students

Photo Credit: Bard College at Simon's Rock
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 Almanac and using statistics from the 2009 school year, the following numbers contain some interesting facts concerning the current make-up of college students in the United States:
*There are over 20.5 million college students in the U.S. today.

* Of those 20.5 million students, over 38% are American ethnic minorities and international students studying in the U.S.

* Within the state of California alone, there are nearly 2.8 million students (an amazing 13% of the country's total). Of these students, nearly 1.7 million are American ethnic minorities or international students.

*Texas has nearly 1.5 million students in the state, including nearly half a million Hispanics and almost 200,000 African American students.

* Close to 1.3 million students attend college in the state of New York (primarily due to New York City). Over half a million of them are American ethnic minorities or international students.

* The number of Native American students is over 200,000.

* Asian Americans now number 1.3 million students.

* African Americans continue to be the largest ethnic minority represented on our campuses at nearly 3 million.

* Hispanics/Latinos are the fastest growing demographic and now total over to 2.5 million students.

* There are over 800,000 international students currently studying in the U.S.

* Students of European descent are still in the overall majority with 12.7 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 that will effectively reach students of color, those that speak a primary language other than English and those in our major cities. The world is here. How will we respond?

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