Number of Homeschoolers in the USA
Updated September 15, 2013
This the most current information on homeschooling families in the U.S. The list of homeschooled kids by state is a work in progress and is updated annually with additional home education statistics as they are found. Home school statistics can be fraught with errors. A discussion of the miscounting of homeschoolers is included below.
- How Many Children are Homeschooled?
- Miscounting of Homeschoolers
- Is Homeschooling Growing?
- Change in Growth Rate
- Fewer School-aged Children
- Additional Resources for Numbers of Homeschoolers
I then used what data I had on registered homeschoolers from those states that require registration to figure out what percentage of the school-aged population in those states were homeschooled and that the average percentage of those states was 3.80% in 2012-13. See my Demographics page for what exact data I do have.
I can get the numbers online of homeschool students in only five states so far this year, so I am using their average growth rate, and assuming it applies in other states. This probably isn’t accurate to assume, but is all I have to use. If you would like to “play around” with these numbers, add new data, etc., here is my Excel Spreadsheet, DemographicStateComparison-2013.xls.
These numbers are just a statistical estimate. Many things seem to influence how many home schooled children are educated at home in each US state, and a variety of influences will make the numbers a little high or a little low:
- Perception of whether or not schools in state are good or bad;
- Ease of complying with homeschool laws in a state;
- In a number of states homeschoolers do not register, either because they need not or will not. California and Texas are two of them;
- I include all students ages 5-17. Many families homeschool children younger or older than the compulsory age range in their states. These students would not be counted on official homeschool demographics reports.
- Some states and cities have better support organizations and more outreach than others.
- The relative population of children to adults in a state.
- I cannot say that this data will age well. Homeschooling grew during good economic times. Whether or not this will continue to hold true during the economic downturn remains to be seen.
- A 5.00% growth probably does not hold true for each grade level in every state.
- We cannot all agree on what constitutes a “real” homeschooler! What sort of homeschoolers are tracked by each state may vary.
You can find the approximate number of homeschooled kids in your state in the following table. Linked numbers are from state documents. (If the PDF report looks scrambled, try another browser.)
|State||Total # Kids
|District of Columbia||70,604||2,575|
Change in Growth Rate
Fewer School-aged Children
Does this mean families are less interested in homeschooling than before? No, only that there are fewer school age children than in previous years.
Notice how the number of children in elementary school starts to dip in 2005, and how the total number has rather leveled off in recent times? That homeschooling is growing when there are even fewer children, is in itself amazing! Our growth rate in 2012 (from 2011) averaged around 4.5%, while public school enrollment was declining.
Home schooled numbers change in the rate of growth, however, has been declining, right along with the birth rates. But it took a sudden turn upward when the economy tanked. Many families can no longer afford private schools, and so have turned to homeschooling. Others may have decided to home school when one parent lost their job and could stay home and teach.
Additional Resources for Numbers of Homeschoolers
What the U.S. Census says about homeschool families (Julie Mack blog)
Three percent of American students — about 1.5 million children — are homeschooled, according to the 2012 Statistical Abstract recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census, which relies on data from 2007, also offers a sense of what kind of families choose homeschooling: Compared to the American school parents as a whole, homeschool parents are more likely to be white and have a four-year college degree, and have a household of two parents and at least three children. (Note: my estimate is based on the number of children, ages 5-17, in each state in the summer of 2012.)
Home School Statistics
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
Date Verified: 4.28.2013