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Number of Homeschoolers in US 2016-2017

Number of Homeschoolers in the USA

Updated August 16, 2016

How many children are home schooled in the United States?

Home school statistics. This is the most current estimate on homeschooling families in the U.S. The list of homeschooled kids by state is a work in progress, updated frequently with additional home education statistics as they are discovered. Homeschool statistics can be fraught with errors. A discussion of the miscounting of homeschoolers is appended below. This is an early estimate, and will be updated frequently as new numbers of homeschoolers are reported and the Census updates its numbers of school-aged children.

Homeschool Demographics 2016

I use the census data from the Census Bureau to get state populations, and PEPSYASEX-Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age and Sex for the United States, States, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 for the number of children in each state ages 5-17 to calculate the number of school-aged children in each state. This database is included in the Excel file. Note that the current spreadsheet only uses the 2015 data, as there was no more recent estimate available from the Census Bureau.

How Many Children are Homeschooled?

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 2.71% in 2015-16. See my Demographics page for what exact data I do have.

My numbers are based on the 11 states that currently or in the past have posted the numbers of homeschoolers on their official sites, 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 updated Excel Spreadsheet, DemographicStateComparison-2016.xls.

Miscounting of Homeschoolers

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;
  • States with a higher ratio of children to adults will have more homeschoolers;
  • I cannot say that this data will age well. Homeschooling grew during good economic times. Whether or not this trend will continue to hold true during the economic ups and downs remains to be seen;
  • A 2.71% growth probably does not hold true for each grade level in every state;
  • The 2.71% growth rate is only used to calculate states with unverifiable numbers. Eleven states use real data, or numbers based on growth from past data. See the spreadsheet;
  • We cannot all agree on what constitutes a “real” homeschooler! What sort of homeschoolers are tracked by each state may vary considerably.

You can find the approximate number of homeschooled kids in your state in the following table. To view on a mobile phone, it looks best when held sideways, in landscape mode. All figures are estimates, except those reported in recent state government sites.

State Total # Kids
Ages 5-17
in 2015-16
Alabama 833,208 22,588 23,185
Alaska 135,134 3,663 3,760
Arizona 1,220,604 33,090 33,965
Arkansas 528,296 14,322 14,701
California 6,803,525 184,440 189,319
Colorado 934,250 25,327 25,997
Connecticut 600,657 1,748 1,753
Delaware 151,597 2,609 2,657
D.C. 74,223 2,012 2,065
Florida 3,043,539 83,359 85,720
Georgia 1,876,417 50,869 52,214
Hawaii 222,393 6,029 6,188
Idaho 325,187 8,816 9,049
Illinois 2,252,788 61,072 62,687
Indiana 1,191,530 35,747 36,801
Iowa 543,892 14,745 15,135
Kansas 535,123 14,507 14,891
Kentucky 754,809 20,463 21,004
Louisiana 825,000 22,365 22,957
Maine 199,058 5,396 5,539
Maryland 1,005,334 27,254 27,975
Massachusetts 1,050,049 28,466 29,219
Michigan 1,694,876 45,947 47,163
Minnesota 956,536 25,931 26,434
Mississippi 550,603 14,927 15,321
Missouri 1,043,788 28,297 29,045
Montana 167,930 4,553 4,690
Nebraska 344,850 9,349 9,596
Nevada 499,011 13,528 13,886
New Hampshire 207,666 5,630 5,779
New Jersey 1,516,588 41,114 42,201
New Mexico 373,945 10,137 10,406
New York 3,120,498 84,595 86,833
North Carolina 1,722,116 118,268 125,790
North Dakota 120,452 3,265 3,352
Ohio 1,996,469 54,123 55,555
Oklahoma 704,423 19,097 19,602
Oregon 644,289 22,353 23,131
Pennsylvania 2,035,503 21,385 21,950
Puerto Rico 648,841 17,590 18,055
Rhode Island 161,909 4,389 4,505
South Carolina 814,104 22,070 22,654
South Dakota 153,546 4,163 4,273
Tennessee 1,121,474 30,403 31,207
Texas 5,288,514 143,369 147,161
Utah 668,300 18,117 18,596
Vermont 93,450 2,533 2,600
Virginia 1,388,111 33,415 34,212
Washington 1,185,083 32,127 32,977
West Virginia 284,610 10,405 10,766
Wisconsin 982,815 18,750 19,138
Wyoming 102,658 2,783 2,857
Total 55,699,573 1,531,501 1,576,516

Change in Growth Rate

Homeschool Demographics State Rate-2016


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 2013 (from 2012) averaged around 7.6%, while public school enrollment was nearly stable.

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. Why homeschooling has taken a sharp increase in 2013, I don’t know.

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
Statistic Verification
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
Date Verified: 4.28.2013

NCES. Table 206.10. Number and percentage of homeschooled students ages 5 through 17
With a grade equivalent of kindergarten through 12th grade, by selected child, parent, and household characteristics: 2003, 2007, and 2012.

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3 Responses to Number of Homeschoolers in US 2016-2017

  1. Ann Zeise on November 5, 2016 at 11:31 am

    You’ll notice that other sources on homeschool statistics don’t even begin to tell you how they generated their numbers.

    I not only do that, but also give you the spreadsheet I used to generated best guesses for number of homeschoolers in states where the reports are not online, let alone not collected. If you download the spreadsheet and look at it with Excel, you’ll see where I got the data for some states.

    My premise is that homeschoolers throughout the USA are probably about the average of the percentage of school aged children in that state as they have been in the past or similar to states that do collect demographics.

    I realize that my data may seem lower than others that show closer to 2,000,000. I don’t know how they get their numbers. They may include some types of home education that I don’t consider “homeschooling.” For example, they may include students who are in “home bound” programs because if injury or illness. They may include charter school children.

    I only change my estimated numbers if someone can point me to a reliable source for better numbers. This is usually a governmental data collection site. I don’t consider newspapers or other sites with a commercial agenda as reliable.

  2. nutcracker on June 2, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I agree with the other comments, your data is definitely off by a lot. I have not taken the time to figure out how far off you are for idaho, but i can not imagine that we a little over $8,000. Mainly because we are not required to register as a homeschooler. You can let your school district know that you will be homeschooling, but that’s mainly to be able to have access to the public school options of band, choir, etc.
    When i chose to homeschool my oldest at the end of his 2nd grade year, I didn’t notify our school district. I informed his principal/teacher that i would be only because i was tired of dealing with this individual’s lack of desire to communicate or try to solve issues that continually arose.
    so……you might have to readjust your numbers a bit. 🙂 But this was really interesting to see.

  3. Apps for homeschooling | The Online Mom on January 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    […] has never been more popular. Unofficial estimates put the total of homeschooled children at close to 2 million, and that number continues to grow […]

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