Why is enrollment declining in Catholic schools and other private schools? Many articles have appeared in the popular press on this question, but a working paper issued last year by the U.S. Census Bureau examines the enrollment decline using a variety of data sources, including data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Census Bureau researcher Stephanie Ewert discusses a number of possible causes for the enrollment decline, including rising tuition costs, the recent recession, and competition from home schools and charter schools. She finds some evidence that charter schools are negatively affecting private school enrollment, while the affect of competition from home schools requires further research. Here is one chart from her working paper that provides some historical perspective:
Posted: July 11, 2014