Homeschooling Numbers

Most states do not collect data on the number of homeschooled students. This makes determining the number of children being homeschooled challenging. The most accurate estimates are those released every four years by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which includes questions about homeschooling in its National Household Education Survey (NHES).

Number

According to the data collected by the NCES, 1,770,000 students, or 3.4% of all school aged children, were being homeschooled in 2011, the most recent year for which we have data. While the number of homeschooled children has been on the rise since the 1970s (though, unfortunately, the NCES data only goes back to 1999), it is unclear whether that number is still rising at the same pace or is beginning to level off. At the very least, we can  safely say that the number of homeschooled students is not likely to be declining.

For the 1999, 2003, and 2007 NCES data, see this table or this report. For the 2011 NCES data, see tables 7 and 8 of this preliminary report.

State by State

Few states collect data on the number of children being homeschooled. Even states that require parents to notify their local school districts when they begin homeschooling do not generally collect this data at the state level, and some states track the number of homeschools but not the number of homeschooled students. Further, some states only require parents to notify the state when they begin to homeschool, and request that they notify the state again when they cease to homeschool but do not technically require them to do so.

Adding to the difficulty of determining the number of homeschoolers, some states have multiple legal options for homeschooling, some of which they may not officially count as “homeschooling.” For example, some parents or guardians enroll their children in umbrella schools while educating them at home. While some states officially count these students as homeschoolers, and may even include homeschooling under the supervision of an umbrella school in their homeschool codes, others do not.

In the future, we hope to analyze numerical data from the few states that do collect this information, but for the time being we have created estimates for each state by multiplying the number of school aged children in each state (those ages 5 to 17) in 2013 (data that can be found on the website of the Children’s Defense Fund) by 3% and by 4% (to give us a low estimate and a high estimate). The NCES data suggests that in 2011 roughly 3.4% of school aged children were homsechooled, but it should be remembered that the exact percentage likely varies by state. Please bear in mind that these are rough estimates only.

Estimated Number of Homeschoolers by State

  Low estimate High estimate
Alabama 24,697 32,930
Alaska 4,017 5,356
Arizona 35,248 46,997
Arkansas 15,424 20,565
California 201,994 269,325
Colorado 26,638 35,517
Connecticut 18,187 24,249
Delaware 4,468 5,958
District of Columbia 2,075 2,767
Florida 87,588 116,784
Georgia 54,192 72,256
Hawaii 6,483 8,644
Idaho 9,263 12,351
Illinois 68,097 90,796
Indiana 35,032 46,710
Iowa 15,751 21,001
Kansas 15,608 20,811
Kentucky 22,194 29,592
Louisiana 24,042 32,057
Maine 6,046 8,061
Maryland 29,414 39,219
Massachusetts 31,181 41,575
Michigan 51,343 68,457
Minnesota 27,758 37,011
Mississippi 16,230 21,640
Missouri 30,835 41,113
Montana 4,818 6,423
Nebraska 9,858 13,144
Nevada 14,320 19,093
New Hampshire 6,370 8,493
New Jersey 45,208 60,277
New Mexico 11,210 14,947
New York 93,673 124,897
North Carolina 49,734 66,312
North Dakota 3,183 4,244
Ohio 59,482 79,309
Oklahoma 20,092 26,790
Oregon 18,814 25,086
Pennsylvania 61,118 81,491
Rhode Island 4,905 6,540
South Carolina 23,337 31,115
South Dakota 4,307 5,743
Tennessee 32,614 43,485
Texas 150,034 200,045
Utah 18,546 24,728
Vermont 2,845 3,794
Virginia 40,301 53,734
Washington 34,145 45,526
West Virginia 8,440 11,254
Wisconsin 29,149 38,865
Wyoming 2,862 3,816
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Homeschooling Results

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