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Latino college enrollment increased while overall enrollment numbers declined

While 2012 college enrollment in the country was down by a half million students, Latino college enrollment is increasing, according to new figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study showed that Latinos did not follow the declining trend. Instead Hispanic enrollment went up, increasing their percentage of the college student population from 11 to 17 percent from 2006 to 2012.  Last year, the number of enrolled Latinos in college grew by 447,000, while non-Hispanic white enrollment declined by 1.1 million.

“This increase in the number of Hispanics enrolled in college can be attributed to the combination of an increase in the adult Hispanic population and their climbing likelihood of being enrolled,” said in a statement Julie Siebens, a statistician in the Census Bureau’s Education and Social Stratification Branch.

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The numbers, which are usually released at the start of a new school year, included both graduate and undergraduate students across the U.S.

In past years, enrollment numbers had been growing substantially, totaling to 3.2 million new enrollments since 2006.

The study said the national decline was primarily because of an enrollment decline among students over the age of 25, but the enrollment of younger students also declined.

In 2012 a total of 10.3 million people were enrolled in four-year colleges, according to the new Census Bureau numbers.

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Another 3.8 million were enrolled in graduate schools, and nearly 6 million were enrolled in two-year colleges.

In elementary education, the study found that Latino children now make up 24 percent of the students, an increase from 20 percent in 2005.

And at all levels, the students who were born in another country or whose parents were foreign-born now make up 32 percent of all students enrolled, the study showed.

Some experts blame the decline of national enrollment on better economic times. As job opportunities increase, more students are likely to prefer work over school.

In the case of Latinos, the growing population numbers will likely continue to increase overall enrollment.

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