Mathematics: Student Group Scores and Score Gaps

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Demographic Trends

Demographic changes in student populations

The demographic makeup of the United States' student population has changed considerably compared to 1978. The proportion of Hispanic 9-year-old students increased from 5 percent in 1978 to 29 percent in 2020, while the proportion of White 9-year-old students decreased from 79 percent to 46 percent over the same time period. Another notable change is that a higher percentage of 9-year-olds are now in a grade lower than the one typical for their age: 26 percent of 9-year-olds were in a grade lower than fourth grade in 1978, whereas 40 percent of 9-year-old students were below their typical grade in 2020. The proportion of 9-year-olds at grade 4 has decreased from 73 percent to 60 percent over the same time period.

Select a student group from the drop-down menu to view changes in the percentage distribution for that group over time.