College participation can be measured by the overall percentage of the typical college-age population (those ages 18–24) enrolled in college. The overall college enrollment rate for young adults ages 18–24 increased from 26 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 2012—an increase of 15 percentage points.
NOTE: Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian non-institutionalized population. After 2002, data for individual race categories exclude persons identifying as two or more races. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic origin. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey.
In 2012, a higher percentage of White, non-Hispanic females were enrolled in college than their male counterparts (46 vs. 38 percent). Hispanic females were also enrolled in college at a higher rate (42 percent) than were Hispanic males (34 percent). There was no statistically significant difference between Black, non-Hispanic females and males in the percentages who were enrolled in college.