Public K-12 Graded Enrollment

California Public K-12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County — 2021 Series

June 2021

  • California Public K-12 Graded Enrollment Projections Table, 2021 Series


    State Enrollment    

    California experienced the 4th consecutive decrease in total Public K-12 Enrollment in the 2020-21 school year (-160,500 students), enrolling 6,002,500 students. Over the next ten years, if current trends in fertility and migration hold, a further decline of 542,200 in total enrollment is projected, resulting in total enrollment of 5,460,300 by 2030-31.

    County Enrollment

    The largest increase in county enrollment across the projection period is expected in San Joaquin County, which will gain 6,100 students between 2020-21 and 2030-31. The biggest decline in enrollment is expected in Los Angeles County which will fall 277,900 students by the end of the projection. Overall, 20 counties will have increased public K-12 enrollment by 2030-31.

    High School Graduates

    Graduates are expected to increase to a projected peak of 446,550 in 2023-24 after which they decline through the end of the projection period. The largest increase in graduates is expected in Kern County, which will add 2,570 graduates by the end of the projection. Overall 23 counties will see an increase in the number of high school graduates by 2030-31.

    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 incorporating the 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

    Changes to the kindergarten age of admission impact elementary enrollment patterns making the 2021 series inconsistent with projections series produced prior to the 2010 series. Kindergarten enrollment includes students enrolled in transitional kindergarten.

    The 2021 series ends the previous practice of adjusting the California Department of Education’s historic enrollment counts. In previous projection series, efforts were made to better reflect the physical location of students rather than their reported location of enrollment. These adjustments were made in Inyo and Mono counties for charter schools registered through their local county offices of education but not physically present in those counties. Removing those adjustments also has small effects in Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, and Trinity counties, where those enrollments were redistributed.

    Additionally, in previous years, the California School for the Blind and the California School for the Deaf in Alameda County and the California School for the Deaf in Riverside County were omitted from our dataset, which has also been rectified. Please contact if you see any discrepancy or have any questions about the change or our methodology.

    Suggested Citation

    State of California, Department of Finance, California Public K-12 Graded Enrollment and High School Graduate Projections by County, 2021 Series. Sacramento, California, June 2021.