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California Public K–12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County 2013 Series

December 2013


The Demographic Research Unit, California Department of Finance, prepares projections of California public K-12 graded enrollment and high school graduates by county.  


State Enrollment    

Over the next ten years California will experience a growth in public K-12 enrollment of 0.7 percent to reach a total of over 6,264,000 students. This growth will result in an additional 45,800 students by 2022-23, occurring mostly in secondary enrollment. Elementary enrollment is expected to remain fairly steady with a slight uptick by 2022-23 as births continue to remain flat contributing to a lower forecast for the 2013 series.

County Enrollment

The largest increases in county enrollment by 2022-23 are expected in Riverside (over 70,000 students), Kern (over 30,000 students), and San Bernardino (over 23,000 students).  The biggest declines in enrollment are expected in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Overall 39 counties will gain public K-12 enrollment and 19 will have lower enrollment or show no change by 2022-23.

High School Graduates

Graduates are expected to decrease in the short term to a low of 402,000 in 2016-17 but rise to 424,000 by 2022-23. The biggest increases in graduates are expected in Santa Clara, Kern, and Riverside counties, each of which will have over 2,000 additional graduates in 2022-23, while graduates in Los Angeles County are expected to decline by around 10,000 over this time period due to declining enrollments.

Data Sources

Enrollment data used to produce this report were provided by the Education Demographics Unit, California Department of Education (www.cde.ca.gov). Actual births were provided by the California Department of Public Health (www.cdph.ca.gov) 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 and state special schools, in addition to reported ungraded students.

Recent changes to kindergarten age of admission impact elementary enrollment patterns making the 2013 projections inconsistent with projections series produced prior to the 2010 series. Kindergarten enrollment increases as some students qualify for a two-year kindergarten program.

Several important changes have occurred regarding the enrollment data used to develop the projections.  In October 2006, the collection of enrollment data was shifted from school-level aggregate obtained through the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) to student-level derived from the Annual Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) Maintenance.  This required that each student be assigned an identifier based on California School Information Services (CSIS) and local educational agency (LEA) coding system criteria.  Therefore, aggregate enrollment data previously obtained through the CBEDS was discontinued.

The implementation of the Annual SSID Maintenance process resulted in changes to student reporting.  Most students previously reported as ungraded in the aggregated K-12 enrollment data were allocated to individual grades through SSID and CSIS.  This change makes graded enrollment, after 2005, inconsistent with graded enrollment for prior years.

Enrollment data for the 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 school years were collected using the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).  The 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 enrollment data are incomplete, as a few local educational agencies were unable to certify their enrollment data.  A list of these local education agencies is included in the projection tables.


Evaon Schnagl and Alexander Alvarado prepared this report under the general direction of Bill Schooling, Chief, Demographic Research Unit.  John Malson and Judi McClellan provided technical direction and review.  Projected births by county were produced by Walter Schwarm.

Suggested Citation

State of California, Department of Finance, California Public K-12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County, 2013 Series. Sacramento, California, December 2013.