K-12 Enrollment by Subject: 2012
There are no comprehensive statistics on student enrollment by academic subject, aside from EMR’s estimates which follow.
In grades K-5 it is reasonable to assume that all students receive instruction in the major subjects, including Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, so there is no need to estimate enrollments by those subjects in the elementary grades. In the major subjects (which break down into courses within subjects) at the middle/junior high and senior high levels, and in the minor courses at all levels, there is a need for such estimates. Product developers and marketers need to know the size of each niche (an intersection of subject and grade) within the array of K-12 subjects in order to plan and budget their efforts profitably. This report provides such student enrollment estimates by course within subject and by grade.
At the middle/junior high and senior high levels, some courses are as big or bigger than elementary Reading and Math. Examples of these high enrollment courses include high school
Spanish (approximately 3.7 million students), Algebra (approximately 4.4 million students), and Biology (approximately 3.5 million students). On the other hand, some secondary courses are far smaller. While high school Spanish is at 3.7 million students, Latin enrolls only around 248,000 students. The body of this report provides the specifics on estimated course enrollments in Art, English/Language Arts, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Studies, and Career & Technical Education.
It should be noted that the teacher numbers used here are intended to represent the public elementary, middle junior/high, and senior high schools, and that combined K-12, adult education, special education, and career and technical education schools were not included. Thus the approximate numbers of teachers by subject and grade are on the conservative side, which also makes the estimated student enrollment ranges conservative.