Ask us: By how much has Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ student population declined?

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 4, 2019

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online on Mondays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

SALISBURY — During the previous 10 years, the Rowan-Salisbury School System has gone through a steady decline in student population

Because of discussions about consolidation, a reader asked the Post to provide student population data of the entire Rowan-Salisbury School System dating back to 2008.

Data available online through the N.C. Department of Public Instruction provides monthly and last day reports of average daily membership — defined as the total number of school days within a given term, a school month or school year, that a student’s name is on the current roll of a class, regardless of whether the student is present.

The data show a decline of nearly 2,000 students from the 2007-2008 school year to present. That’s in contrast to the population of Rowan County as a whole, which ticked slightly upward in population during the same time period and topped 140,000 residents in the most recent census estimates.

But the decline is not evenly distributed. Schools such as North Rowan High have lost students in recent years while South Rowan High has grown.

The following is a list of average daily membership on the last day from the 2007-2008 school year to present for the Rowan-Salisbury School System. Because the 2018-2019 school year is not complete, the current school year’s average daily membership reflects the latest available data.

• 2018-2019: 18,719 students (latest available)

• 2017-2018: 18,924 students

• 2016-2017: 19,135

• 2015-2016: 19,525

• 2014-2015: 19,788

• 2013-2014: 19,705

• 2012-2013: 19,720

• 2011-2012: 19,744

• 2010-2011: 19,877

• 2009-2010: 20:235

• 2008-2009: 20,643

• 2007-2008: 20,632