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California Public K–12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County 2014 Series

December 2014


State Enrollment    

California experienced a slight increase (fewer than 10,000 students) in public K-12 enrollment in the 2013-14 school year enrolling approximately 6.2 million students. Over the next ten years, very little change in total enrollment is projected if current trends in fertility and migration hold.

County Enrollment

The largest increases in county enrollment by 2023-24 are expected in Riverside (over 26,000 students), San Diego (over 23,000 students), and Kern (over 21,000 students).  The biggest declines in enrollment are expected in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Overall 30 counties will gain public K-12 enrollment and 28 will have lower enrollment or show no change by 2023-24.

High School Graduates

Graduates are expected to decrease in the short term to a low of 412,000 in 2016-17 but rise to 447,000 by 2023-24. The biggest increases in graduates are expected in San Diego, Santa Clara, and San Joaquin counties, each of which will have over 2,600 additional graduates in 2023-24, while graduates in Los Angeles County are expected to decline by around 2,700 over this time period due to declining enrollments.

Data Sources

Enrollment data used to produce this report were obtained from the California Department of Education (www.cde.ca.gov). Actual births were obtained from 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, state special schools and ungraded students.

Recent changes to kindergarten age of admission impact elementary enrollment patterns making the 2014 projections inconsistent with projections series produced prior to the 2010 series. Kindergarten enrollment includes students enrolled in transitional kindergarten.

Suggested Citation

State of California, Department of Finance, California Public K-12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County, 2014 Series. Sacramento, California, December 2014.