Reading: 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 over the nearly half-century since the long-term trend reading assessment was first administered. At age 9, the proportion of Hispanic students increased from 5 percent in 1975 to 28 percent in 2020, while the proportion of White students decreased from 80 percent to 46 percent over the same time period. Another notable change is that a higher percentage of 9-year-old students are now in a grade lower than the one typical for their age: 24 percent of 9-year-olds were in a grade lower than fourth grade in 1971, whereas 38 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 75 percent to 61 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.