New Jersey

Education and Opportunity

School Enrollment in New Jersey

In New Jersey, public school enrollment is:

  • 57.43% White (non-Hispanic);
  • 18.97% Black (non-Hispanic);
  • 16.79% Hispanic;
  • 6.67% Asian/Pacific Islander; and
  • 0.13% American Indian/Alaska Native.

Graduation Rates in New Jersey

  • 62.20% of Black students graduate from New Jersey's high schools
  • 64.40% of Hispanic students graduate from New Jersey's high schools
  • 86.30% of Asian students graduate from New Jersey's high schools
  • 87.30% of White students graduate from New Jersey's high schools
  • 83.30% of all students graduate from New Jersey's high schools

The percentage of American Indian students who graduate from New Jersey high schools was not reported because of insufficient data for a reliable estimate.

Enrichment Class Enrollment in New Jersey

Graph of enrichment class enrollment: the following text describes the contents of the graph.
  • 9.8% of White students are in Gifted/Talented programs
  • 3.9% of Black students are in Gifted/Talented programs
  • 3.2% of Hispanic students are in Gifted/Talented programs
  • 0.9% of White students are in Math AP classes
  • 0.2% of Black students are in Math AP classes
  • 0.2% of Hispanic students are Math AP classes
  • 0.8% of White students are in Science AP classes
  • 0.2% of Black students are in Science AP classes
  • 0.2% of Hispanic students are Science AP classes

Combined Effects of Poverty and Race in New Jersey

With fewer enrichment programs available in poor schools and minority students almost always under-represented in the classes that are available, New Jersey's White students get:

  • 2.8 times the opportunity of Black and Hispanic students to be in Gifted/Talented programs.
  • 4.4 times the opportunity of Black and Hispanic students to be in math AP courses.
  • 4.5 times the opportunity of Black and Hispanic students to be in science AP courses.

School Segregation

More than fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education promised equal educational opportunities for all children, the nation must confront a growing crisis of separate and unequal education. Millions of students are still not getting the basic education they need to survive and compete in the 21st century.

Segregation in New Jersey

New Jersey is the 5th most segregated state for African Americans, with 50.8% of Black students in extremely segregated schools (those with a 90-100% minority student body).

New Jersey is the 4th most segregated state for Hispanics, with 41.8% of Hispanic students in extremely segregated schools (those with a 90-100% minority student body).

Why does segregation matter?

A growing body of research documents the educational benefits for all students of racially and ethnically diverse schools. Segregated minority schools are much more likely to be in poor neighborhoods, have lower graduation rates and offer New Jersey's minority students far fewer opportunities to take the kinds of academic enrichment courses that prepare them for college.


Public high school graduation rates for class of 2005 are from Diplomas Count 2008: School to College, Education Week.

Segregation statistics are from Brown at 50: King's Dream or Plessy's Nightmare?, Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee, Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.

Other state education statistics are from the U.S. Department of Education.