Chart: U.S. Special Education Enrollment

In this graphic, see how the number of U.S. students enrolled in special education has changed over the past 20 years.

Chart: U.S. Special Education Enrollment

After a marked increase, the count of students ages 6-21 with disabilities peaked in the 2004-05 school year and then started going down. The past two years have seen an uptick, however, driven by students identified as having autism or “other health impairments.” The count had risen to 5.83 million by fall 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Related: Number of U.S. Students in Special Education Ticks Upward

Chart: U.S. Special Education Enrollment

Sources: Fall 1995-2013: U.S. Department of Education Annual Reports to Congress on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Fall 2014: U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs IDEA Static Tables; U.S. Department of Education; Education Week Research Center

Note: Wyoming child-count data are not available for 2014-15.

Design & Visualization: Vanessa Solis
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A version of this article appeared in the April 20, 2016 edition of Education Week