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Educational institutions

Question:
How many educational institutions exist in the United States?

Response:

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 2014–15. 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 about 500 schools or less 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 to 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). Although the number of all elementary schools (schools beginning with grade 6 or below and having no grade higher than 8) was similar in 1970–71 and 2000–01 (64,000 and 64,600, respectively), the number of middle schools was 462 percent higher in 2000–01 than in 1970–71 (11,700 vs. 2,100). During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 57 percent (from 7,800 in 1970–71 to 3,300 in 2000–01). Between 2004–05 and 2014–15, the number of all elementary schools rose by 2 percent to 67,100, while the subset of middle schools rose by 6 percent to 13,300. During the same period, the number of junior high schools declined by 17 percent to 2,700.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Chapter 2.

Number of educational institutions, by level and control of institution: Selected years, 1980–81 through 2014–15
Level and control of institution 1980–81 1990–91 1999–2000 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Public schools 85,982 84,538 92,012 96,513 97,382 98,793 98,916 98,706 98,817 98,817 98,328 98,454 98,271 98,176
Elementary 59,326 59,015 64,131 65,984 66,026 66,458 67,112 67,148 67,140 67,086 66,689 66,718 67,034 67,073
Secondary 22,619 21,135 22,365 23,445 23,998 23,920 24,643 24,348 24,651 24,544 24,357 24,280 24,053 24,181
Combined 1,743 2,325 4,042 5,572 5,707 5,984 5,899 5,623 5,730 6,137 6,311 6,371 6,205 6,347
Other1 2,294 2,063 1,474 1,512 1,651 2,431 1,262 1,587 1,296 1,050 971 1,085 979 575
Private schools2 20,764 24,690 32,995 35,054 33,740 33,366 30,861 33,619
Postsecondary Title IV institutions 6,407 6,383 6,463 6,536 6,551 6,632 6,742 7,021 7,234 7,253 7,236 7,151
Degree-granting institutions 3,231 3,559 4,084 4,216 4,276 4,314 4,352 4,409 4,495 4,599 4,706 4,726 4,724 4,627
2-year colleges 1,274 1,418 1,721 1,683 1,694 1,685 1,677 1,690 1,721 1,729 1,738 1,700 1,685 1,616
4-year colleges 1,957 2,141 2,363 2,533 2,582 2,629 2,675 2,719 2,774 2,870 2,968 3,026 3,039 3,011

–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. (2018). Digest of Education Statistics, 2016 (NCES 2017-094), Table 105.50.

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