Skip Navigation
Digest of Education Statistics
2020 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 212.20. Percentage distribution of public elementary and secondary school principals, by mobility or attrition and selected principal and school characteristics: 2007–08 to 2008-09, 2011–12 to 2012-13, and 2015–16 to 2016-17
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected principal or school characteristic 2007-08 to 2008-09 2011-12 to 2012-13 2015-16 to 2016-17
Continued working as a principal Stopped working as a principal No longer at same school; status unknown2 Continued working as a principal Stopped working as a principal No longer at same school; status unknown2 Continued working as a principal Stopped working as a principal No longer at same school; status unknown2
Stayed at same school1 Moved to a different school Stayed at same school1 Moved to a different school Stayed at same school1 Moved to a different school
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Total 79.5   (0.88) 6.9   (0.60) 11.9   (0.64) 1.8   (0.31) 77.4   (0.59) 7.0   (0.44) 11.5   (0.48) 4.1   (0.34) 82.2   (0.62) 6.0   (0.39) 9.8   (0.47) 2.0   (0.21)
Sex                                                                        
Male 77.6   (1.22) 7.5   (0.81) 13.0   (1.02) 1.9   (0.39) 77.1   (0.82) 7.0   (0.55) 11.6   (0.75) 4.3   (0.39) 82.7   (0.83) 6.4   (0.55) 8.9   (0.63) 1.9   (0.29)
Female 81.3   (1.22) 6.4   (0.82) 10.8   (1.00) 1.6   (0.46) 77.8   (0.96) 6.9   (0.64) 11.4   (0.70) 4.0   (0.51) 81.7   (0.87) 5.7   (0.52) 10.5   (0.66) 2.1   (0.30)
                                                                         
Race/ethnicity                                                                        
White 80.1   (1.02) 6.8   (0.65) 11.9   (0.76) 1.3   (0.26) 78.6   (0.55) 6.4   (0.44) 11.7   (0.50) 3.3   (0.32) 82.5   (0.67) 5.6   (0.42) 10.0   (0.51) 1.9   (0.24)
Black 77.4   (2.66) 7.2   (1.78) 11.3   (2.06) 4.1 ! (1.62) 72.2   (2.42) 9.7   (1.53) 10.4   (1.57) 7.7   (1.48) 81.9   (2.00) 7.9   (1.49) 8.9   (1.37) 1.3 ! (0.50)
Hispanic 79.1   (3.94) 6.6 ! (2.86) 11.7   (3.20)   (†) 73.6   (3.90) 7.9   (2.07) 10.7   (2.94) 7.7 ! (2.34) 79.1   (2.18) 7.5   (1.37) 10.1   (1.49) 3.3 ! (1.14)
Asian/Pacific Islander 61.7   (12.55)   (†)   (†)   (†) 81.3   (4.69)   (†)   (†)   (†) 85.4   (4.02) 5.8 ! (2.75)   (†)   (†)
Asian 63.8   (14.87)   (†)   (†)   (†) 82.1   (4.58)   (†)   (†)   (†) 84.9   (4.77) 6.7 ! (3.14)   (†)   (†)
Pacific Islander 53.0 ! (20.29)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)
American Indian/Alaska
    Native
74.3   (9.10)   (†) 18.0 ! (7.96)   (†) 66.4   (9.23) 5.7 ! (2.54) 17.8 ! (8.09)   (†) 82.4   (7.51)   (†)   (†)   (†)
Two or more races 66.1   (13.73)   (†)   (†)   (†) 70.1   (10.93)   (†)   (†)   (†) 80.0   (6.26)   (†) 10.3 ! (4.48)   (†)
                                                                         
Age                                                                        
Under 40 81.6   (2.10) 9.5   (1.56) 7.1   (1.33) 1.7 ! (0.67) 81.1   (1.64) 7.5   (0.96) 7.9   (1.29) 3.5   (0.76) 83.8   (1.32) 8.9   (0.95) 6.1   (0.93) 1.2   (0.32)
40 to 44 83.7   (2.04) 7.5   (1.23) 6.9   (1.36)   (†) 77.3   (1.79) 9.6   (1.24) 8.0   (1.09) 5.0   (1.09) 85.2   (1.15) 6.7   (0.85) 6.2   (0.78) 1.9   (0.45)
45 to 49 83.0   (2.21) 6.8   (1.54) 8.3   (1.64) 1.9 ! (0.73) 82.8   (1.39) 7.4   (0.96) 6.9   (0.86) 2.9   (0.73) 83.9   (1.16) 5.4   (0.81) 8.1   (0.83) 2.7   (0.55)
50 to 54 80.7   (1.61) 6.6   (1.19) 10.5   (1.35) 2.2 ! (0.73) 80.4   (1.43) 6.8   (1.08) 9.8   (0.98) 3.0   (0.63) 85.2   (1.43) 5.4   (0.86) 8.2   (1.10) 1.2 ! (0.39)
55 or over 73.7   (1.88) 5.3   (1.11) 19.7   (1.60) 1.3 ! (0.44) 69.7   (1.46) 4.5   (0.62) 20.5   (1.24) 5.4   (0.71) 74.4   (1.32) 4.1   (0.66) 18.8   (1.17) 2.7   (0.51)
                                                                         
Years of experience as a
principal at any school
                                                                       
Less than 3 80.5   (2.06) 9.5   (1.56) 8.0   (1.35) 2.0 ! (0.71) 81.3   (1.33) 6.5   (0.79) 7.7   (0.96) 4.5   (0.83) 83.4   (1.09) 6.6   (0.69) 7.7   (0.80) 2.2   (0.45)
3 to 5 82.2   (1.76) 6.8   (1.27) 9.1   (1.21) 1.8   (0.55) 77.8   (1.44) 8.2   (1.01) 10.1   (1.05) 3.9   (0.72) 84.5   (1.10) 6.2   (0.74) 7.8   (0.82) 1.5   (0.36)
6 to 9 82.1   (1.85) 5.7   (0.90) 10.8   (1.44) 1.4 ! (0.59) 77.1   (1.34) 7.5   (0.93) 11.4   (0.88) 4.0   (0.63) 83.6   (1.22) 5.8   (0.78) 8.8   (0.88) 1.9   (0.39)
10 or more 74.5   (1.76) 5.6   (0.93) 18.2   (1.48) 1.7   (0.52) 74.0   (1.28) 5.8   (0.77) 16.1   (1.16) 4.2   (0.69) 77.6   (1.24) 5.4   (0.73) 14.7   (1.13) 2.2   (0.44)
                                                                         
Salary, in current dollars                                                                        
Less than $60,000 79.0   (3.52) 6.2   (1.60) 12.6   (3.23)   (†) 69.2   (3.21) 9.6   (1.86) 14.8   (2.28) 6.4   (1.89) 76.5   (3.82) 3.0 ! (1.42) 15.7   (3.48) 4.8 ! (1.91)
$60,000 to $79,999 79.5   (1.61) 8.3   (1.22) 10.9   (1.12) 1.2 ! (0.42) 79.2   (0.92) 7.5   (0.70) 9.6   (0.78) 3.7   (0.53) 81.0   (1.33) 6.3   (0.74) 10.4   (0.96) 2.2   (0.49)
$80,000 to $99,999 78.7   (1.65) 7.1   (1.01) 12.3   (1.22) 1.9   (0.52) 76.8   (1.19) 7.2   (0.74) 11.5   (0.90) 4.6   (0.65) 82.9   (0.92) 6.4   (0.61) 9.3   (0.74) 1.4   (0.28)
$100,000 or more 80.6   (1.72) 4.9   (1.02) 12.3   (1.46) 2.2   (0.60) 78.0   (1.25) 5.8   (0.88) 12.5   (1.00) 3.6   (0.59) 82.7   (0.94) 5.9   (0.59) 9.3   (0.69) 2.2   (0.40)
                                                                         
Highest degree earned                                                                        
Bachelor’s degree or less 77.6   (7.43)   (†)   (†) 6.1 ! (2.84) 77.2   (5.31) 3.6 ! (1.60) 11.1 ! (3.47) 8.1 ! (3.31) 72.4   (5.93) 6.5 ! (2.70) 10.9 ! (3.47) 10.2 ! (4.51)
Master’s degree 80.1   (1.13) 7.1   (0.89) 11.2   (0.87) 1.5   (0.41) 77.6   (0.74) 7.1   (0.56) 11.3   (0.69) 4.0   (0.47) 82.7   (0.74) 6.2   (0.47) 9.2   (0.57) 1.8   (0.27)
Education specialist3 79.6   (1.58) 6.3   (0.94) 12.2   (1.31) 1.9   (0.55) 77.4   (1.23) 6.9   (0.72) 12.6   (0.95) 3.0   (0.54) 83.7   (1.11) 5.8   (0.73) 9.0   (0.82) 1.5   (0.37)
Doctor’s or first
   professional
74.2   (3.06) 7.2   (1.89) 16.5   (2.51) 2.1 ! (0.74) 76.4   (2.37) 7.1   (1.23) 9.5   (1.65) 7.1   (1.42) 76.7   (2.12) 5.6   (1.12) 15.0   (1.76) 2.7   (0.74)
                                                                         
School level                                                                        
Elementary 80.4   (1.23) 7.0   (0.79) 11.0   (0.90) 1.5   (0.34) 77.9   (0.78) 7.1   (0.58) 10.9   (0.62) 4.1   (0.49) 81.9   (0.73) 6.9   (0.51) 9.4   (0.55) 1.9   (0.27)
Secondary 78.6   (1.25) 6.3   (0.94) 13.1   (1.34) 1.9   (0.50) 77.1   (1.10) 6.3   (0.64) 12.8   (0.84) 3.8   (0.49) 84.7   (1.12) 4.3   (0.66) 9.1   (0.86) 1.9   (0.39)
Combined 73.4   (2.74) 7.5   (1.49) 15.9   (2.46)   (†) 74.7   (1.86) 7.2   (1.15) 12.8   (1.30) 5.2   (0.89) 78.4   (2.05) 3.8   (0.72) 14.6   (1.79) 3.2   (0.89)
                                                                         
School size                                                                        
Less than 150 75.8   (3.05) 8.4   (2.31) 12.6   (2.22) 3.2 ! (1.26) 76.1   (2.11) 6.5   (0.91) 11.9   (1.70) 5.5   (1.11) 77.7   (2.42) 4.2   (1.10) 13.7   (1.89) 4.4   (1.28)
150 to 349 80.2   (2.03) 7.0   (1.24) 11.0   (1.50) 1.8 ! (0.70) 74.8   (1.58) 8.6   (1.05) 11.3   (1.17) 5.3   (0.94) 81.2   (1.25) 6.4   (0.82) 10.7   (0.99) 1.7   (0.37)
350 to 499 77.0   (2.28) 7.6   (1.54) 13.4   (1.71) 2.0 ! (0.68) 78.0   (1.54) 6.6   (0.89) 11.4   (1.05) 4.1   (0.84) 83.0   (1.24) 7.6   (0.89) 8.1   (0.91) 1.4   (0.40)
500 to 749 82.2   (2.09) 5.8   (1.17) 10.9   (1.54) 1.1 ! (0.41) 78.1   (1.55) 7.4   (1.01) 10.7   (1.05) 3.8   (0.73) 83.7   (1.06) 6.1   (0.72) 8.8   (0.82) 1.4   (0.31)
750 or more 80.5   (1.56) 6.3   (1.00) 12.0   (1.21) 1.2 ! (0.54) 79.6   (1.15) 5.3   (0.74) 12.4   (0.89) 2.6   (0.44) 83.0   (1.03) 5.0   (0.64) 9.5   (0.83) 2.5   (0.43)
                                                                         
Percent minority enrollment4                                                                        
Less than 10 percent 80.0   (1.88) 6.5   (1.22) 12.7   (1.26) 0.9 ! (0.35) 80.9   (1.11) 5.1   (0.56) 11.3   (0.95) 2.7   (0.57) 85.3   (1.39) 4.4   (0.78) 8.1   (1.07) 2.2 ! (0.77)
10 to less than 25 percent 83.4   (2.08) 5.8   (1.33) 9.6   (1.38)   (†) 79.1   (1.39) 5.8   (0.83) 11.5   (1.10) 3.6   (0.70) 84.6   (1.15) 4.8   (0.78) 9.6   (0.93) 1.0   (0.29)
25 to less than 50 percent 81.9   (1.97) 5.9   (1.05) 11.0   (1.46) 1.2 ! (0.55) 78.6   (1.40) 7.3   (0.88) 11.4   (1.08) 2.7   (0.55) 82.8   (1.30) 6.2   (0.83) 10.1   (1.03) 1.0   (0.29)
50 to less than 75 percent 76.6   (2.95) 7.4   (1.61) 14.7   (2.74)   (†) 77.5   (2.05) 5.0   (0.89) 12.6   (1.54) 4.9   (1.05) 79.9   (1.61) 7.0   (1.01) 11.0   (1.27) 2.1   (0.57)
75 to less than 90 percent 74.3   (3.50) 8.9   (2.16) 12.6   (2.37) 4.2 ! (1.73) 79.6   (2.23) 8.6   (1.61) 8.7   (1.35) 3.2 ! (1.03) 79.8   (2.22) 7.7   (1.62) 9.5   (1.46) 3.0 ! (0.94)
90 percent or more 76.0   (2.38) 8.7   (1.73) 11.7   (1.97) 3.6   (1.07) 68.7   (2.06) 11.2   (1.64) 12.2   (1.65) 8.0   (1.33) 79.5   (1.69) 7.5   (1.02) 10.0   (1.26) 2.9   (0.63)
                                                                         
Percent of students
   approved for free or
   reduced-price lunch
                                                                       
0 to 25.0 percent 81.9   (1.59) 6.1   (0.97) 11.1   (1.35) 1.0 ! (0.45) 79.2   (1.32) 6.4   (0.99) 11.4   (1.09) 3.0   (0.76) 85.8   (1.25) 5.2   (0.85) 7.4   (0.87) 1.7   (0.46)
25.1 to 50.0 percent 81.8   (1.55) 6.8   (1.11) 10.3   (1.02) 1.2 ! (0.35) 79.8   (1.12) 5.4   (0.74) 11.7   (0.89) 3.1   (0.54) 83.7   (1.14) 5.0   (0.65) 10.0   (0.89) 1.3   (0.37)
50.1 to 75.0 percent 80.4   (1.87) 6.1   (0.92) 12.2   (1.68) 1.3 ! (0.47) 78.4   (1.34) 7.1   (0.77) 10.4   (0.96) 4.0   (0.73) 82.5   (1.23) 7.3   (0.88) 8.6   (0.88) 1.5   (0.36)
More than 75.0 percent 74.0   (2.18) 9.1   (1.57) 13.4   (1.86) 3.6 ! (1.12) 72.5   (1.38) 9.3   (1.09) 11.9   (1.20) 6.3   (0.97) 79.4   (1.15) 7.1   (0.66) 10.9   (0.87) 2.5   (0.46)
                                                                         
Locale                                                                        
City 78.3   (2.03) 7.6   (1.29) 11.4   (1.42) 2.7   (0.70) 74.4   (1.60) 8.5   (1.19) 11.8   (1.30) 5.3   (0.72) 81.0   (1.19) 7.5   (0.84) 10.0   (0.81) 1.5   (0.34)
Suburban 82.0   (1.53) 5.5   (0.85) 10.8   (1.25) 1.8 ! (0.65) 78.3   (1.14) 7.0   (0.84) 10.9   (0.90) 3.8   (0.75) 83.2   (1.06) 6.2   (0.71) 8.6   (0.75) 1.9   (0.40)
Town 77.9   (2.33) 6.5   (1.29) 14.0   (2.19)   (†) 79.5   (1.74) 6.3   (0.99) 10.3   (1.05) 3.8   (0.86) 85.1   (1.38) 4.7   (0.83) 8.1   (0.96) 2.1   (0.58)
Rural 78.8   (1.51) 7.9   (1.17) 12.3   (1.10) 1.0 ! (0.37) 78.3   (0.84) 5.9   (0.53) 12.2   (0.69) 3.6   (0.56) 80.7   (1.29) 5.0   (0.58) 11.8   (0.99) 2.5   (0.52)
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Includes those who were on leave (e.g., maternity/paternity, military, disability, or sabbatical).
2 The school reported that the principal had left, but it was unable to report on the current occupational status of the principal.
3 Education specialist degrees or certificates are generally awarded for 1 year’s work beyond the master’s level. Includes certificate of advanced graduate studies.
4 The combined percentage of students in the school who are Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, or of Two or more races.
NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2007-08 and 2011-12; SASS Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2008–09 and 2012-13; National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2015-16; and NTPS Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2016–17. (This table was prepared November 2018.)

2020 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest