Enrollment Tracker: 2020–2022
Following Spring 2020 school closures, enrollment fell 2.5% in Fall 2020 — over 1 in 40 students. In Fall 2021, enrollments rebounded in districts that spent 2020-21 mostly in-person. Those that stayed remote longer, saw even more students leave.
State enrollment changes varied considerably, with smaller declines in 2021–22 than in the first pandemic school year.
Nineteen of 46 states declined by 3% or more and five states saw net gains from 2020 and 2022.
Where are public schools seeing an enrollment recovery? In districts that returned to in-person more quickly.
- The most remote districts lost 1.2% more students in 2021-22, a two year slide of 4.4% – or 1 in 22 students.
- The most in-person districts rebounded 0.9% in 2021-22, for a net loss of 1 in 93 students.
Enrollment declines also differed by voting history and county masking. Toggle the charts below to see how the divides varied by districts and county characteristics.
Enrollment declines also fall along partisan lines.
- Districts enrollment declines were relatively similar in 2020–21, regardless of 2020 voting patterns.
- In 2021–22, most districts that voted for Trump rebounded, while enrollment continued to fall in those that voted for Biden.
Enrollment declines differ by grade level, but across each, gaps by in-person instruction remained consistent. Click the tabs to see how enrollment varied by grade levels and instruction.
Every district across the nation has been disrupted by COVID. The road to recovery for schools will be long, especially for those that were more COVID-cautious. The differences R2L captured in 2020–21 Instruction Offerings that impacted the enrollment numbers above are also reflected in our Mask Requirement data.
Explore our entire site to see how the COVID–19 pandemic affected public schools, and return again for more data coming soon.
Subscribe to our newsletter here to make sure you never miss an update!