Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 Demographics for U.S. College Students

Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360
The nation's college students are growing in number and our campuses continue to become more diverse. Taken from the most recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac and the Open Doors Report, the following statistics from the 2011-2012 school year contain some interesting facts concerning the current make-up of college students in the United States:
  • There are now nearly 22 million college students studying within the United States.
  • Of those 22 million students, 4 out of 10 are American ethnic minorities and international students studying in the U.S. 
  • Within the state of California alone, there are over 2.8 million students. This is an amazing 13% of the country's total! Of these students, over 1.7 million are American ethnic minorities and international students. 
  • Texas has over 1.6 million students in the state, including over half a million Hispanic students. 
  • Primarily due to the presence of New York City, close to 1.3 million students attend college in the state of New York. Over 500,000 of them are American ethnic minorities and international students. 
  • The number of Native American students across the country is close to 200,000. 
  • Asian Americans now number over 1.2 million students. 
  • There are nearly 3 million African Americans on our campuses, close to 14% of all students. 
  • Hispanics and Latinos are rapidly growing in number and influence and now comprise over 13% of all students, totaling over 2.8 million students. 
  • There are well over 800,000 international students currently studying in the U.S., many of whom will return to their country of origin. 
  • In demonstration of the country's increasing cultural diversity, over 400,000 of America's college students define themselves as being multi-ethnic.
  • Another 1.4 million students do not self-identify as belonging to any particular ethnic group nor do they define themselves as being multi-ethnic.
  • Students of European descent are still in the overall majority with 11.8 million. If current trends hold true, however, there will be no ethnic majority by the time we reach 2020.
    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: 1) students of color; 2) those that speak a primary language other than English; and 3) those in our major cities. The world is here. How will we respond?

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