Glenwood Springs High School students during an outdoor education class in Glenwood Springs, Colorado last April. (Nick Cote/For The Washington Post)

The number of children attending U.S. public schools with students of other races has nearly doubled over the past quarter-century, a little-noticed surge that reflects the nation’s shifting demographics, a Washington Post analysis has found.

1. The United States is growing more diverse. In 2020, whites will no longer represent a majority of American children.

Since its founding, the United States has been a majority-white nation, but it is becoming more racially diverse every year. Next year, the Census Bureau projects, will mark a tipping point where more than half of U.S. children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group. By 2060, the Census Bureau projects, just 36 percent of Americans under age 18 will be non-Hispanic whites.

2. Diversity has spread to school districts across the country, and there are many more diverse districts today.

The Post measured how many districts are racially diverse, which we defined as places where no one race represents more than 75 percent of students. We found a large increase. In 1995, just under half of all students were enrolled in a diverse school district. In 2017, it was two-thirds. And while diverse districts used to be concentrated in the South and on the East and West coasts, the newly diverse districts are dotted across the country.

3. The newly diverse schools are typically places that used to be mostly white and where Latinos have moved.

These newly diverse districts are typically small communities that used to have few students of color but have diversified in the past 25 years. There are not many places that grew more diverse because whites moved in, although the District is a rare example of that.

4. Schools in newly diverse districts have high levels of integration.

Put a different way, in these places, the diversity of the school system as a whole is reflected in the individual schools. Individual schools have a mix of students, rather than having, for instance, all the white children in one school and all the Latino kids in another.

5. On the other hand, schools in historically diverse districts are far more segregated.

These tend to be big urban areas. In segregated districts, there may be a diversity of children, but those of one race tend to be in certain schools, and those of another race are in other schools.

6. The rise of the newly diverse, integrated school districts has led to a large increase in children being educated in an integrated school system.

We divided the districts into three groups — those that are highly integrated, those that are somewhat integrated and those that are not integrated.

More students today are in districts with integrated schools

The proportion of students by school district integration

Somewhat

integrated

Not diverse enough or

too small to integrate

Highly

integrated

Not

integrated

1995

14%

14%

13%

59%

2017

13%

23%

22%

42%

More students today are in districts with integrated schools

The proportion of students by school district integration

Somewhat

integrated

Not diverse enough or

too small to integrate

Highly

integrated

Not

integrated

1995

14%

14%

13%

59%

2017

13%

23%

22%

42%

More students today are in districts with integrated schools

The proportion of students by school district integration

Somewhat

integrated

Not diverse enough or

too small to integrate

Highly

integrated

Not

integrated

1995

13%

14%

14%

59%

2017

13%

23%

22%

42%

More students today are in districts with integrated schools

The proportion of students by school district integration

Somewhat

integrated

Not diverse enough or

too small to integrate

Highly

integrated

Not

integrated

1995

13%

14%

14%

59%

2017

13%

23%

22%

42%

Read more:

How The Post’s analysis compares to other studies of school segregation.

What’s your experience with school integration?