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Numbers tell the story, and we’ve got your numbers.
The News Center work group known as the Data Circle is your guide through the world of what counts. And what can be counted.
We’ll find the figures and show the patterns that explain life here in Tampa Bay-from amusement parks to zoo animals, with government salaries and big water users in between.
If it’s facts you want, we’ll find them for you. Shoot us an email.


Dennis Joyce

Joyce joined The Tampa Tribune as senior editor for metro in 2005 and later helped launch’s continuous news desk. He has worked as an editor and reporter in Arizona, Kentucky, Virginia, Idaho and Stuart, Fla. Email

Jeff Scullin

Scullin has worked for The Tampa Tribune since 2005, directing news coverage in Pasco County and serving as the paper’s Sunday editor. He has worked as an editor and reporter in Lakeland, Sarasota, North Carolina and California. Email

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Back to school numbers

Posted Aug 22, 2011 by Jeff Scullin

Updated Aug 22, 2011 at 03:04 PM

Most students in the Tampa Bay area go back to school this week, and even if you don’t have school-age kids living in your house, the rush back to school is a big deal in several ways. Traffic is likely to be a little heavier as parents and buses ferry children to and from school; work schedules will be stretched or changed for some workers, and local stores will get a needed economic boost.

How much? Consider these national figures from the U.S. Census Bureau:

$7.4 billion: Spent at family clothing stores in August 2010

$2.2 billion: Bookstore sales in August 2010

There are an awful lot of students contributing to that economic boom – 77 million, as of October 2009, according to the Census. That encompasses children and adults, from nursery school to college, and accounted for 27 percent of the population 3 and older.

Of those students, here’s how the numbers break down:

55.5 million: Students enrolled in pre-K through high school

19.7 million: College students – up from 14.4 million 20 years ago

Random facts you might find interesting:

• 11 percent of students in pre-K through high school were in private school
• 43 percent of those students were minorities
• 23 percent of those students had at least one parent not born in the United States
11.2 million students between 5 and 17 spoke a language other than English at home. Eight million of those kids spoke Spanish.

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