New figures show OC’s public school enrollment continuing to decline

Enrollment in Orange County’s public schools has declined for the eighth straight year, according to new state Department of Education figures.

OC Total Student Enrollment chart

For the current 2018-19 school year, 478,823 students were enrolled in all K-12 public schools, including charters.

Public school enrollment has steadily declined for much of the past two decades. Orange County’s schools have lost a combined 36,641 students since the 2003-04 school year, when enrollment was at a record high.

The trend mirrors statewide figures, which have also steadily declined in recent years. Educators and experts have attributed the decline in enrollment to several factors, including the high cost of living that has forced many families out of California, and lower birth rates among school-aged children.

“This data provides a critical snapshot of all students in California, highlighting trends that show areas where students are improving, where they’re struggling and where additional resources are needed,” state Superintendent Tony Thurmond said.

For more detailed figures, including enrollment by race and ethnicity, by grade, and at the district and school level, visit the state’s data and statistics site at