Homeschool Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides homeschool statistics on homeschooled students, as well as other educational matters.

How Many Students Are Homeschooled in the United States?

According to NCES homeschool statistics, there were about 1.5 million homeschooled students in 2007, the most recent year for which data is provided, which represents  2.9% of all students. In 2003, there were approximately 1,096,000 homeschooled students, which represented 2.2%. In 1999, there were about 850,000 homeschooled students, or 1.7 percent of all students. The increase in the number of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007  is 74%, and the increase from 2003 to 2007 is 36%.

What Kinds of Homeschool Arrangements Are There?

In 2007, NCES homeschool statistics indicate that 84% of homeschooled students were taught at home exclusively, while 16% spend some time at school. Eleven percent of all homeschooled students attended school, but for less than 9 hours each week; five percent were in school from 9 to 25 hours per week, while receiving the rest of their education at home.

Why Do Parents Choose to Homeschool?

More parents said that they chose to homeschool a child in order to offer religious or moral instruction than gave any other reason as the most important for homeschooling. This accounts for 36 percent of homeschooled students. Other reasons offered had to do with the available schools, such as being concerned by the school environment (whether from the standpoint of safety, negative peer pressure, drugs, or more than one of those) and disappointment with the teaching. Some parents wanted to provide a non-traditional learning experience, others had problems with time, money, or distance from the school, and still other parents chose to homeschool because their child had health problems or special needs.

What Characteristics Does the Homeschooled Population Have?

Seventy-seven percent of homeschooled children in 2007 were white. When separated by race, 3.9% of white students are homeschooled, 1.5% of HIspanic students, and 0.8 percent of Black students. Eighty-nine percent of homeschooled students live in a two-parent household. Homeschooling was a more often chosen option for students who lived in a two-parent household with one parent working and for students whose household earning was between $25,001 and $75,000 a year than for students in other living situations and income brackets. 

Other Homeschooling Statistics

In 2003, NCES homeschool statistics reported that more than 41% of homeschool students had at least some distance learning component in their education. At that time, 78% of homeschool families used public libraries for curriculum support. Seventy-seven percent acquired at least some of their materials from a publisher specializing in providing materials for homeschooling. In addition, in 2003, 39.4% of homeschoolers sought curriculum support from a public school or private school or school district.


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