College, preschool enrollments fall after pandemic

The drops crossed racial, geographic and economic lines.
FILE – Students make their way through the Sather Gate near Sproul Plaza on the University of California, Berkeley, campus Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

The number of American children who are enrolled in preschool and the number of high school graduates who attend college have declined in recent years, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau that show two separate trend lines headed in a downward direction.

Just 42% of children aged 3 to 6 years old were enrolled in preschool in 2021, a stark departure from a decade and a half in which preschool became an increasingly popular option for young children and the lowest rate since the Census began collecting data on preschool attendance in 2005.

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