How Many Homeschoolers Are There? (And other Homeschool Stats!)

This time of year, many people are looking into homeschooling for the first time.  It can feel momentous to make the decision to homeschool. I thought I would share some stats so you know that you are not alone! This post shares some graphs and statistics about some of these topics:

  • How many homeschoolers are there in the U.S.?
  • How do the numbers of homeschoolers compare to the numbers of kids who attend public, private or charter schools?
  • Where do homeschoolers live?
  • What grades are the kids who homeschool in? (This surprised me!)
  • What reasons do parents give for homeschooling?
  • What is the race/ethnicity break-down for homeschoolers?

How many homeschoolers are there in the U.S.? As you can see, the number of homeschooled children has steadily increased over the past 15-20 years.

In 2007, 2.9% of students were homeschooled. In 2011-2012, 3.4% of students were homeschooled.

Number of Homeschooled Students in the USI would assume that the numbers have continued to climb. I base that on the steady increase in the number of homeschoolers in my state.  Here’s a graph that shows the homeschooling trend in my state.  This includes the most recent statistics which were released for the 2015-2016 school year. (Just because I didn’t have tons of time, I only included stats from every four years, but you get the idea!)

Steady Increase in Homeschoolers in my StateHow do the numbers of homeschoolers compare to the numbers of kids who attend public, private or charter schools?

Overall, the vast majority of students in the U.S. attend public schools… based on some of the statistics I found,  a pie graph of U.S. students might look something like this (Homeschoolers being the green slice!):

Students in the USA - Number of Homeschoolers

Where do homeschoolers live?

The rates of homeschooling were highest in rural areas where 4.5% of students were homeschooled.  The homeschooling rate was 3.2% in the city, 3.1% in the suburbs and 2.7% in towns.

Where do homeschoolers live - cities suburban rural areas towns

What grades are the students who homeschool in?

One things that surprised me about the statistics was that the homeschooling rate was actually higher in the upper grades. Just from conversations I’ve had with others, I had assumed that many people choose to homeschool in the younger grades and then put their children into traditional school (public or private schools) in middle school or high school.  I had it totally wrong!

  • The percentage of K-2 students who homeschooled was 3.1%.
  • The percentage of 3rd-5th grade students who homeschooled was 3.4%.
  • The percentage of 6th-8th grade students who homeschooled was 3.5%.
  • The percentage of 9th-12th grade students who homeschooled was 3.7%.

The graph below shows the percentages of homeschoolers in each grade:

Percentages of Homeschoolers per GradeRace/Ethnicity of Homeschoolers in the US:

Race Ethnicity of Homeschoolers in the USAWhy do parents homeschool their children? These were some of the reasons given by parents as to why they homeschool their kids:

Why do parents homeschool their kids?This graphic sums all this up:

How Many Homeschoolers Are There

These statistics are based on the last U.S. government survey report that was put out several years ago; you can read the full report here: NCES.ed.gov Homeschooling in the United States Report. No new data has been released about homeschooling (as of April 2017 when I checked NCES.ed.gov).  Surveys, of course, are not completely reliable. And not only that, but some states don’t track homeschool statistics and many homeschoolers (like my sister’s family!) homeschool under an umbrella school (so wouldn’t be included in data like this). But, this information is still intriguing, don’t you think?!

That’s about it for today!

You might be interested in these related posts:

What are some of the benefits and challenges of homeschooling?

How and Why Did We Get Started Homeschooling?

You might also be interested in these helpful (free) resources:

Creating a Homeschool Curriculum: Kindergarten – Grade 1

 Homeschool Curriculum Kindergarten Grade 1

Creating Your Homeschool Curriculum: Grades 2-3, Resource Guide

Homeschool Science Curriculum Grade 2-3

Creating Your Homeschool Curriculum Grade 4-5 — Free Resource Guide

Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum Grade 4 - 5

Homeschool Science Unit Checklist for Elementary and Middle School

These are the science units/topics I hope to cover from K-Grade 8.

Homeschool Science Checklist - elementary and middle schoolSee you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) ~Liesl

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