How many children are homeschooled in the United States?
In 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007. The increase in the percentage of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007 represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 36 percent relative increase since 2003. In 2007, the majority of homeschooled students received all of their education at home (84 percent), but some attended school up to 25 hours per week. Eleven percent of homeschooled students were enrolled in school less than 9 hours per week, and 5 percent were enrolled between 9 and 25 hours per week.
More White students were homeschooled than Black or Hispanic students or students from other racial/ethnic groups, and White students constituted the majority of homeschooled students (77 percent). White students (3.9 percent) had a higher homeschooling rate than Blacks (0.8 percent) and Hispanics (1.5 percent), but were not measurably different from students from other racial/ethnic groups (3.4 percent). Students in two-parent households made up 89 percent of the homeschooled population, and those in two-parent households with one parent in the labor force made up 54 percent of the homeschooled population. The latter group of students had a higher homeschooling rate than their peers: 7 percent, compared with 1 to 2 percent of students in other family circumstances. In 2007, students in households earning between $25,001 and $75,000 per year had higher rates of homeschooling than their peers from families earning $25,000 or less a year.
Parents give many different reasons for homeschooling their children. In 2007, the most common reason parents gave as the most important was a desire to provide religious or moral instruction (36 percent of students). This reason was followed by a concern about the school environment (such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure) (21 percent), dissatisfaction with academic instruction (17 percent), and "other reasons" including family time, finances, travel, and distance (14 percent). Parents of about 7 percent of homeschooled students cited the desire to provide their child with a nontraditional approach to education as the most important reason for homeschooling, and the parents of another 6 percent of students cited a child's health problems or special needs.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). The Condition of Education 2009 (NCES 2009-081) Indicator 6 .
Related Tables and Figures: (Listed by Release Date)
Other Resources: (Listed by Release Date)