How many educational institutions exist in the United States?
Despite an increase in the number of students, the number of public schools declined in the United States, reflecting a trend toward consolidating small schools during most of the last century. In 1929–30, there were approximately 248,000 public schools, compared with about 98,500 in 2017–18. However, the number of public schools has increased in recent decades: Between 1988–89 and 2006–07, there was an increase of approximately 15,600 schools, up to a total of 98,800. Since 2006–07, the number of public schools has remained relatively stable, varying by fewer than 500 schools from year to year.
Since the early 1970s, public school systems have been shifting away from junior high schools (schools consisting of either grades 7 and 8 or grades 7–9) and moving toward middle schools (a subset of elementary schools beginning with grade 4, 5, or 6 and ending with grade 6, 7, or 8). The number of all public elementary schools (schools beginning with grade 6 or below and ending with grade 8 or below) increased 5 percent between 1970–71 and 2017–18 (from 64,000 to 67,400), and the number of middle schools increased by 546 percent (from 2,100 in 1970–71 to 13,400 in 2017–18). During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 68 percent (from 7,800 in 1970–71 to 2,500 in 2017–18). Compared over more recent years, the number of all elementary schools was less than 1 percent higher in 2017–18 than in 2007–08, while the subset of middle schools rose by 3 percent, from 13,000 to 13,400. During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 20 percent, from 3,100 to 2,500. The total number of secondary schools decreased 3 percent, from 24,600 in 2007–08 to 23,900 in 2017–18.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 (NCES 2021-009), Chapter 2.
|Number of educational institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1980–81 through 2017–18|
|Level and control of institution||1980–81||1990–91||1999–2000||2007–08||2008–09||2009–10||2010–11||2011–12||2012–13||2013–14||2014–15||2015–16||2016–17||2017–18|
|Postsecondary Title IV institutions||–||–||6,407||6,551||6,632||6,742||7,021||7,234||7,253||7,236||7,151||7,021||6,606||6,502|
– Not available.
1Includes special education, alternative, and other schools not classified by grade span. Because of changes in survey definitions, figures for "other" schools are not comparable from year to year.
2Data for 1980–81 and 1990–91 include schools with first or higher grades. Data for later years include schools with kindergarten or higher grades.
NOTE: Postsecondary data for 1980-81 and 1990-91 are for institutions of higher education, while later data are for Title IV degree-granting and non-degree-granting institutions. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 (NCES 2021-009), Table 105.50.
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