Central PA School-Age Population Statistics

Central PA School-Age Population Statistics
August 2015
Category: Business

It is that magic time of year again. The end of August into the beginning of September marks the end of summer vacations and the start of a new school year. Very soon (if not already), over 50 million school-age children nationwide will be heading back to the classroom to start the 2015-2016 school year.
central pennsylvania school-age population
There are approximately 383,000 school-age children in the nine Central Pennsylvania counties which include Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York Counties. This represents about 16.5% of the total population in the region. The number of school-age children in 2015 has decreased approximately 3.3% from 2010. This trend has been seen across the state and the nation. In the same time frame, the population of school-age children decreased 5.2% in Pennsylvania and 2.3% in the United States.
The chart above displays the change in school-age population from 2010 to 2015. The age categories represented start from Kindergarten-Age 5 through 12th Grade-Age 17. These age categories were chosen to represent the average age a student starts in each grade level and does not take into consideration students who start school later or earlier, or those who may have stayed behind or moved forward grade levels. The chart is a comparison of the percentage change in population in Central Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, and the United States. The largest notable change of this time period was those children in the high-school age ranges of Grade 9-Age 14 through Grade 12-Age 17. During this time period, the High School category saw a 9.6% decrease in total population in Central Pennsylvania. 
  • 9th Grade-Age 14: -3.8% change
  • 10th Grade-Age15: -8.8% change
  • 11th Grade-Age 16: -11.9% change
  • 12th Grade-Age 17: -14.1% change
population projections 2015-2020 of school-age children
Looking out to 2020, projections of school-age population tell a different story than those of the past five years. Overall, this segment of population is likely to increase by 1.6% in Central Pennsylvania from 2015 to 2020 (still leaving a gap of approximately 1.7%). During this time period, on one of the scale, the population of children ages 10 to 17 are projected to see increases anywhere from 3.0% to 4.8%. On the other end of the scale, the population of children ages 5 through 9 (Kindergarten through 4th Grade) are projected to see decreases between -1.1% to -3.1%. It is important to notes that these projections are based on normal growth rates and do not take into consideration the effects of any large event that could alter population numbers.
The graph above displays the projected change in the population of school-age children from 2015 to 2020. The bars represent the percentage of change in the time period and compare Central Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, and the United States. It is interesting to note that while the same trend is seen in the region, the state, and nationally, Central Pennsylvania remains in a better position for growth than in Pennsylvania and in most instances, the United States.
2015 school-age population by county
The chart below shows the breakdown of school-age population in 2015 by Central Pennsylvania county. The ages are grouped in the following categories: Elementary/Intermediate (Age 5 through 11 / Kindergarten through 6th Grade); Middle School (Age 12 and 13 / Grades 7 and 8); High School (Age 14-17 / Grades 9 through 12).

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