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Number of Homeschoolers in US 2017-2018

Number of Homeschoolers in the USA

Updated August 21, 2017

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.

Number of homeschoolers in 2017

This is pulled from 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 2.70% in 2016-17. 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-2017.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. States in BOLD have numbers based on state-provided data statistics. The rest are generated using statistical means: the number of school-aged children in those states times the average percentage of homeschoolers in stats with that data. If you are on a smart phone, you will need to scroll right to see the homeschooler data.

State Total # Kids Ages 5-17 in 2016-17 2016-2017 Homeschoolers 2017-2018 Homeschoolers
Alabama 873,657 23,562 24,198
Alaska 141,571 3,818 3,921
Arizona 1,270,125 34,255 35,179
Arkansas 551,193 14,866 15,266
California 7,182,951 193,723 198,947
Colorado 964,529 26,013 26,715
Connecticut 638,664 1,706 1,752
Delaware 159,640 3,051 3,133
D.C. 76,594 2,066 2,121
Florida 3,153,047 87,462 89,821
Georgia 1,944,300 52,437 53,852
Hawaii 229,615 6,193 6,360
Idaho 333,673 8,999 9,242
Illinois 2,391,945 64,510 66,250
Indiana 1,245,688 37,267 38,272
Iowa 562,551 15,172 15,581
Kansas 555,496 14,982 15,386
Kentucky 788,018 21,253 21,826
Louisiana 857,942 23,139 23,763
Maine 211,517 5,705 5,858
Maryland 1,047,976 28,264 29,026
Massachusetts 1,108,972 29,909 30,715
Michigan 1,800,051 48,547 49,856
Minnesota 993,713 26,800 27,523
Mississippi 576,527 15,549 15,968
Missouri 1,092,288 29,459 30,253
Montana 172,803 4,660 4,786
Nebraska 354,490 9,561 9,818
Nevada 517,163 13,948 14,324
New Hampshire 222,353 5,997 6,159
New Jersey 1,598,803 43,119 44,282
New Mexico 394,597 10,642 10,929
New York 3,303,567 89,097 91,499
North Carolina 1,789,670 127,847 131,295
North Dakota 118,958 3,208 3,295
Ohio 2,096,023 56,529 58,054
Oklahoma 724,488 19,539 20,066
Oregon 672,849 22,353 22,956
Pennsylvania 2,148,454 21,730 22,316
Puerto Rico 673,269 18,158 18,648
Rhode Island 171,769 4,633 4,758
South Carolina 842,116 22,712 23,324
South Dakota 156,098 4,210 4,323
Tennessee 1,166,064 31,448 32,297
Texas 5,441,159 146,747 150,705
Utah 680,603 18,356 18,851
Vermont 99,422 2,681 2,754
Virginia 1,444,885 34,554 35,485
Washington 1,227,116 33,095 33,988
West Virginia 298,284 12,207 12,536
Wisconsin 1,031,138 20,362 20,911
Wyoming 104,078 2,807 2,883
Total 58,202,460 1,598,905 1,642,027

Change in Growth Rate

Growth Rate of Homeschooling

 

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 2017-2018

  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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