Where Have All the Children Gone?
Shelley Lapkoff, Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research, Inc.
Pipi R. Diamond, Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research, Inc.
A California public school district asked us why Census 2000 counted far more school-aged children within its boundaries than were enrolled in the district's schools. One of the school district's trustees did a census analysis and found 5,072 potential students with 1,614 students not enrolled in district public schools. This was a critical issue because the district was considering closing one or more schools. If indeed there were additional students that could be brought back to the public schools, either because they were attending private schools or not attending school at all, perhaps the district could avoid closing a school. We did our own census analysis and solved the mystery of the missing children. After proper data comparisons were made and normal levels of private school enrollments were considered, the Census and school district enrollments matched well.