The number of Oregon students identifying as nonbinary increased for the fourth year in a row, jumping nearly 57% from the previous school year, according to new educational data. The Oregon Department of Education on Thursday publicly released its annual report providing data on schools, teachers and students. BLUE STATE SUSPENDS BASIC SKILLS GRADUATION REQUIREMENT AGAIN, CITING HARM TO STUDENTS OF COLOR GUNS AND AMMO: ONE OF AMERICA'S FASTEST GROWING HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS HAS 'NO BENCHWARMERS' More than 2,770 K-12 students identified as nonbinary during the 2022-23 school year, according to the report, a 56.7% increase from the prior school year. The figure represents about .5% of the total student population. The education department added nonbinary as a demographic option in 2018 as an "important step toward gender inclusivity." The department expects the number of nonbinary students to continue increasing each school year as districts update their registration forms. Most nonbinary Oregon students were in high school, but dozens of children as young as kindergarten also identified as nonbinary. The cohort had a higher dropout rate than males or females in the 2021-22 school year, data showed. PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES DEAL WITH TEACHERS UNION TO END STRIKE Nonbinary and transgender populations tend to skew young. Nationally, about 3% of young adults ages 18-29 identify as nonbinary, according to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey. Another 2% identified as transgender. The Pew survey did not include minors, but a 2017 survey of Oregon teens found 4.8% of eighth graders and 5.5% of 11th graders identified as nonbinary. New York City recently began counting nonbinary students as well, using the letter "X" for gender rather than "M" or "F." In 2022, just 108 students selected the "X" designation out of around 1.1 million children in the city's public schools, Chalkbeat reported. Some skeptics and detransitioned youth have blamed a nationwide spike in children identifying as a gender different than their biological sex on "social contagion" or the increase of gender ideology in schools. "In Oregon we now have a culture of educating our children what to think, not how to think," Matt Bunch, a businessman running in the Republican primary in Oregon House District 51, told Fox News. "Our state needs to focus more on setting the nearly 60% of students who can't read at grade level up for success than discussing topics that should be left up to parents." CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Other key findings in the Oregon report included some good signs for graduation rates. The number of freshmen on track to graduate continued to improve in the last school year to 83.6%, approaching pre-pandemic levels. However, student attendance still remained "significantly" below pre-pandemic levels, the report noted. More than 38% of kids were considered chronically absent, which often hurts students' grades, test scores and likelihood of graduating on-time. Total enrollment has continued to decline in the state, with 552,380 students counted, a decrease of 30,000 from the 2019-20 school year. School districts across the nation have struggled to bring students back post-COVID.