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Homeschooling

Question:
How many children are homeschooled in the United States?

Response:

Students are considered to be homeschooled if their parents reported them being schooled at home instead of at a public or private school, if their enrollment in public or private schools did not exceed 25 hours a week, and if they were not being homeschooled only due to a temporary illness. Homeschooled students include children ages 5 to 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12. The number of homeschooled students increased from 850,000 in 1999 to 1,690,000 in 2016, and the percentage of students who were homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent to 3.3 percent over the same time period.

In 2016, the percentage of students who were homeschooled was higher for White (3.8 percent) and Hispanic (3.5 percent) students than for Black (1.9 percent) and Asian (1.4 percent) students. A higher percentage of students whose grade equivalent was 9th through 12th grade were homeschooled (3.8 percent) compared with the percentage of students whose grade equivalent was 1st through 3rd grade (2.4 percent). No measurable differences in the percentages of students who were homeschooled were observed either by students’ sex or by students’ parent-reported disability status.


Percentage of homeschooled students ages 5 through 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12, by student’s race/ethnicity and grade equivalent: 2016

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

‡ Reporting standards not met (too few cases for a reliable estimate).
1 Includes Two or more races and race/ethnicity not reported.

NOTE: Students are considered to be homeschooled if their parents reported them being schooled at home instead of at a public or private school, if their enrollment in public or private schools did not exceed 25 hours a week, and if they were not being homeschooled only due to a temporary illness. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.


In 2016, parents of homeschooled students were asked to identify the most important reason for choosing to homeschool their child. The reason for choosing homeschooling that was reported as the most important by the highest percentage of homeschooled students’ parents was a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure (34 percent). The two other reasons for homeschooling frequently cited as most important by students’ parents were dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at their schools (17 percent) and a desire to provide religious instruction (16 percent).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). School Choice in the United States: 2019 (NCES 2019-106), Indicator 5.

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