California Public K–12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County  —  2016 Series

December 2016


State Enrollment    

California experienced a slight decrease (9,500 students) in total K-12 Public Enrollment in the 2015-16 school year enrolling approximately 6.2 million students. Over the next ten years, a decline in total enrollment (163,000 students) is projected if current trends in fertility and migration hold.

County Enrollment

The largest increases in county enrollment by 2025-26 are expected in Riverside County and Kern County.  The biggest declines in enrollment are expected in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Overall 29 counties will have increased public K-12 enrollment by 2025-26.

High School Graduates

Graduates are expected to remain flat in the short term before increasing to a peak of 445,000 in 2023-24. The largest increases in graduates are expected in Kern County. Overall 37 counties will see an increase in the number of high school graduates by 2025-26.

Data Sources

Enrollment data used to produce this report were obtained from the California Department of Education ( Actual births were obtained from the California Department of Public Health ( while projected births were produced by the Demographic Research Unit.


Enrollment projections are developed using a grade progression ratio (GPR), cohort-survival, projection model to project enrollment in kindergarten through twelfth grade and high school graduates.  The GPR is the result of dividing the enrollment in one grade level by the enrollment in one lower grade from the prior year.  The GPR represents the proportion of students expected to progress from one grade to the next.  The most likely progression model is chosen based upon analysis of historical trends and knowledge of migration trends and demographic characteristics of each county. Entering cohorts of kindergartners and first graders are projected using actual and projected births.  The best fitting progression ratios are chosen independently for the projection of each grade including high school graduates.  The state total by grade is the result of the summation of the projections by grade at the county level.

User Notes

Actual enrollment and high school graduates may not match prior years' series due to revisions to the California Department of Education enrollment files.  Enrollment projections exclude California Education Authority, state special schools and ungraded students.

Recent changes to kindergarten age of admission impact elementary enrollment patterns making the 2016 projections inconsistent with projections series produced prior to the 2010 series. Kindergarten enrollment includes students enrolled in transitional kindergarten.

Suspension of the California High School Exit Exam has led to increases in high school graduates from the previous series.

Suggested Citation

State of California, Department of Finance, California Public K-12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County, 2016 Series. Sacramento, California, December 2016.


Department of Finance Seal
Governor Brown
Finance Director Michael Cohen