How many educational institutions exist in the United States?
During most of the last century, the trend of consolidating small schools brought declines in the total number of public schools in the United States. In 1929–30, there were approximately 248,000 public schools, compared with about 98,000 in 2015–16. 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. 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 4 percent between 1970–71 and 2006–17 (64,000 and 66,800, respectively). In contrast, the number of middle schools increased by 537 percent (from 2,100 in 1970–71 to 13,300 in 2016–17). During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 67 percent (from 7,800 in 1970–71 to 2,500 in 2016–17). Compared over more recent years, the number of all elementary schools was less than 1 percent higher in 2016–17 than in 2006–07, while the subset of middle schools rose by 4 percent to 13,300. During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 19 percent to 2,500. The total number of secondary schools in 2016–17 (23,800) was slightly lower than the number in 2006–07 (23,900).
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics, 2018 (NCES 2020-009), Chapter 2.
|Number of educational institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1980–81 through 2016–17|
|Level and control of institution||1980–81||1990–91||1999–2000||2006–07||2007–08||2008–09||2009–10||2010–11||2011–12||2012–13||2013–14||2014–15||2015–16||2016–17|
|Postsecondary Title IV institutions||–||–||6,407||6,536||6,551||6,632||6,742||7,021||7,234||7,253||7,236||7,151||7,021||6,606|
– 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.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics, 2018 (NCES 2020-009), Table 105.50.
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