Virtually all of the 3.4 million increase in suburban public school enrollments over the past decade and a half has been due to the enrollment of new Latino, black and Asian students, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of public school data. The most potent driver of this trend has been the near doubling of the Latino share of suburban school district enrollment — to 20% in 2006-07, from 11% in 1993-94. Over this same time period, the black share grew to 15% from 12% and the Asian share rose slightly, to 6% from 5%. Overall, white students made up just 59% of the enrollment in suburban public schools in 2006-07, down from 72% in 1993-94. Once a largely white enclave, suburban school districts in 2006-07 educated a student population that was 41.4% non-white, up from 28% in 1993-94 and not much different from the 43.7% non-white share of the nation’s overall public school student population. At the same time, suburban school districts have been gaining “market share”; they educated 38% of the nation’s public school students in 2006-07, up from 35% in 1993-94. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.