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April 10, 2007 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Demographic Research Question: I am trying to find an online source that will tell me how many high school students live in a particular media market (a set of counties surrounding a major urban area).

I know census data is available by county, but I'd like data more recent than 2000. I can probably find school district enrollment data for each county, but that seems pretty brute-force, since we are talking about several dozen counties. I am not averse to paying a moderate sum (say less than $100) for this information if necessary. Thanks for any pointers you can give me!
posted by ottereroticist to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Why don't you just call the state board of education or school board for each county? Keep in mind that this may or may not include home schooled students. Additionally, the local economic development organizations should have that info as well.
posted by necessitas at 12:18 PM on April 10, 2007

Never underestimate the U.S. Census Bureau! 2005 American Community Survey data should suit your purposes fine (2006 data is not out yet). For example, this is school enrollment data for Suffolk County, MA.

How did I get there?

Here's the ACS main page on the American FactFinder site. Select data profiles from the window for the 2005 ACS and you'll get here. From there just select county in the geographic type drop down menu, then select your state, then select your county and click the show result button. This will spit out the general demographic characteristics table, but you want the selected social characteristics table which is linked to at the top. School enrollment data is first on that table.
posted by otio at 12:34 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you just want the number, you shouldn't have to pay for it. However, a company like MDR can get you the names and addresses of said students.

SchoolMatters will have links to each state's Board of Ed and some basic demographics for each state.
posted by mattbucher at 12:35 PM on April 10, 2007

That SchoolMatters site is awesome.
posted by otio at 12:39 PM on April 10, 2007

Response by poster: otio, thanks, I found the 2005 American Community Survey, and it does indeed have exactly the info I am looking for. Only problem is that doesn't include all counties. For example, in Oregon, it only includes 15 of Oregon's 36 counties.

mattbucher, SchoolMatters looks very helpful and I am checking it out right now.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:41 PM on April 10, 2007

BTW, SchoolMatters defaults to state views, but you can search by district. If you don't know the name of the district you can find it here.
posted by mattbucher at 12:45 PM on April 10, 2007

Facebook and myspace would have this type of info and I know I've seen statistical analysis of Facebook showing pretty detailed demographic information. It probably wouldn't give you an exact number, but you could extrapolate from there.
posted by dripdripdrop at 2:05 PM on April 10, 2007

Response by poster: SchoolMatters doesn't seem to provide enrollment numbers broken out by grade -- only enrollment totals for the state, district, or school. [frowny face]

Other ideas?
posted by ottereroticist at 2:06 PM on April 10, 2007

My former employer,, may have the information you need on their site. If not, an email to their tech support address may put you in touch with an employee willing to extract the data for you.
posted by bendy at 2:13 PM on April 10, 2007

You can search by county on the NCES website (link goes to the public school search page). I know it'll give you the grade-by-grade enrollment breakdown by campus, which may help if you're dealing with smaller districts.

And SchoolMatters is indeed awesome.
posted by paleography at 2:50 PM on April 10, 2007

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