Differences by race and Hispanic origin*
Disparities between groups of students in their rates of participation can reflect a number of factors, including cultural expectations, access to required equipment, and access to transportation. In 2017, among eighth graders, a higher percentage of non-Hispanic white students than non-Hispanic black students participated in school athletics (67 and 65 percent, respectively). This gap is wider in tenth grade, where 64 percent of non-Hispanic white students participated in athletics, compared to 56 percent of non-Hispanic black students. In the twelfth grade, the trend reverses, with 64 percent of non-Hispanic black students participating in athletics, compared to 58 percent of non-Hispanic white students. At all three grade levels, Hispanic students were the least likely to participate in school athletics; for example, among tenth graders, 52 percent of Hispanic students, compared to 64 and 56 percent of non-Hispanic white and black students, respectively, participated.
*Estimates for white and black youth exclude Hispanic youth and youth of two or more races. Hispanic youth include persons identifying as Mexican American or Chicano, Cuban American, Puerto Rican, or other Hispanic or Latino and no other racial/ethnic group.