Homeschooling is the fastest growing education form in the U.S. that is now bordering on mainstream.
Homeschooling statistics suggest that parent-led home-based education can be superior to public education if done right.
Highlights of statistics on homeschooling:
- There are 3.7 million homeschool students in the U.S.
- States with the most homeschoolers are North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.
- The top reason for homeschooling is a concern about school environment.
- Homeschool students outperform institutional school students academically.
- The highest homeschooling rate is among students with a grade equivalent of 6 to 8.
- 48% of homeschooling households have three or more children.
- The average cost of homeschooling is $700-$1,800 per student annually.
- 1 in 3 homeschooling households has an annual income of over $100,000.
- Homeschooling saves about $56 billion of taxpayer money annually.
1. There are 3.7 million homeschool students in the U.S.
According to National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) homeschool statistics, during the 2020-2021 school year (SY), there were 3.7 million homeschool students in the U.S. (1)
of U.S. Students
|Total K-12 Students|
|3.721 million||6.73% are homeschooled||55.292 million|
Homeschoolers make up 6.73% of all school-age children (K-12) in the U.S.
The growth rate in homeschool students has been remarkable. Homeschooling has had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% from 2016 to 2021. (2)
|3.721 million||2.65 million||2.5 million||2.3 million|
In the past, the homeschooling growth rate has been 2-8% per annum, which saw a noticeable uptick from 2020 to 2021. (2)
There were about 2.3 million homeschool students in 2016, 2.5 million in 2019, and 2.65 million in 2020. Homeschooling is the fastest-growing form of education in the U.S.
According to Census homeschooling data, home-schooling households doubled during the Covid pandemic. (3)
|Before vs. After|
|11.1% of households||2x increase||5.4% of households|
The Census experimental Household Pulse Survey found that the Covid pandemic had a strong impact on homeschooling rates from March of 2020 to March of 2021. (3)
It’s important to clarify, that the results are not stating that the number of homeschool students doubled.
The results state that the number of households (i.e., adults living with homeschooled students) doubled from March 2020 to March 2021.
2. States with the most homeschoolers are North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.
According to National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), states with the highest number of homeschoolers are North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. (1)
|From all Students|
|North Carolina||179,900 students||10.6% homeschoolers|
|Florida||143,431 students||4.6% homeschoolers|
|Georgia||85,510 students||4.6% homeschoolers|
|Virginia||65,571 students||4.8% homeschoolers|
|Washington||39,843 students||3.3% homeschoolers|
|Wisconsin||31,878 students||3.2% homeschoolers|
|Minnesota||30,955 students||3.2% homeschoolers|
|South Carolina||28,316 students||3.4% homeschoolers|
|Massachusetts||17,127 students||1.7% homeschoolers|
|Nebraska||14,780 students||4.3% homeschoolers|
According to the latest available homeschool percentage by state data, North Carolina has 179,900 homeschool students, followed by Florida 143,431 students, and Georgia 85,510 students. (1)
North Carolina has the highest homeschooling rate of 10.6% out of all students, followed by Virginia with 4.8%, Florida and Georgia with 4.6%.
3. The top reason for homeschooling is a concern about school environment.
According to National Center for Education Statistics (IES) homeschooling facts, the top reason for homeschooling is a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure. (4)
|Reasons for Homeschooling||Percentage|
|Safe environment concerns||25% of parents|
|Bad academic quality||14.5% of parents|
|To provide religious instruction||13% of parents|
|To provide moral instruction||6.6% of parents|
|Health problems||3.6% of parents|
|Special needs||7.3% of parents|
|To provide nontraditional education||7.7% of parents|
|Emphasis on family||8.3% of parents|
|Other reasons||14% of parents|
The second most popular reason was dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at schools, followed by a desire to provide religious instruction.
But not all parents want to homeschool their children.
According to EdChoice statistics against homeschooling, socialization is the most common reason why parents have not yet homeschooled their children. (5)
|Reasons Not to Homeschool||Percentage|
|Child will not be prepared socially for real-life||16% of parents|
|Coordinating with work schedule||15% of parents|
|Time management||14% of parents|
|Note sure if realistically doable||13% of parents|
|Don’t want to disrupt child’s relationships||12% of parents|
|Don’t want to disrupt child’s current schooling||12% of parents|
|Other reasons||18% of parents|
The second most common reason not to homeschool is the problem with coordinating homeschool with work schedule followed by time management.
4. Homeschool students outperform institutional school students academically.
According to National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) homeschooling success statistics, 78% of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievements show that homeschool students perform statistically significantly better than students in institutional schools. (6)
Here are some brief summaries of studies on homeschooling.
|Author(s)||Results of the Studies|
|Murphy, 2012; Ray, 2013, 2017||Homeschooled score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.|
|Ray, 2015||Black homeschool students scored 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students.|
|Martin-Chang et al., 2011||Researchers found that children from structured homeschool settings outperformed their conventional school peers (by 0.06 to 0.15 effect sizes).|
|Rudner, 1999||Median scores for home school students fell between the 70th and 80th percentile. The study concluded that those parents choosing to make a commitment to homeschooling are able to provide a very successful academic environment.|
|Murphy, 2012; Ray, 2017||Home-educated students typically score above average on the college admission SAT and ACT tests.|
|Cogan, 2010||College students who were homeschooled earn higher first-year and fourth-year GPAs when controlling for demographic, pre-college, engagement, and first-term academic factors.|
The majority of peer-reviewed research papers on homeschooling found a positive effect of homeschooling compared to institutional schooling. The same positive outcomes were also revealed regarding social and emotional development. (6)
The positive effect was real and measurable also for homeschooled students who later became adults compared to those who had been in conventional schools.
5. The highest homeschooling rate is among students with a grade equivalent of 6 to 8.
According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) latest homeschooled kids statistics, the highest homeschooling rate is among students with a grade equivalent of 6 to 8. (7)
|Grades 1 to 3||22%||18%||20%|
|Grades 4 to 5||18%||17%||15%|
|Grades 6 to 8||29%||24%||24%|
|Grades 9 to 12||22%||31%||29%|
Interestingly enough, the dominant grade equivalent of 6-8 has shifted from grades 9-12 since 2012. (7)
Overall, the grade distribution is roughly even across all grade levels above kindergarten.
6. 48% of homeschooling households have three or more children.
According to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) homeschool demographics data, a surprising 48% of homeschooling households have three or more children. (7)
|3+ Children||2 Children||1 Child|
|48% of households||33% of households||19% of households|
Interestingly enough, the homeschool data shows that only 19% of homeschooling households have 1 child and 33% have 2 children.
One can argue anecdotally, that in a household with three or more children, there’s already a significantly higher focus on kids. So perhaps it can be easier to homeschool all of them together.
The NCES data also shows that 7 in 10 homeschool students are white. (7)
The second most common ethnicity of homeschooled children is Hispanic, followed by Black, Asian, and other ethnicities.
|2 Parents||1 Parent||Non-parental|
|83% of homeschoolers||14% of homeschoolers||3% of homeschoolers|
According to NCES homeschool families data, 83% of homeschool students live in two-parent households, followed by 14% in 1 parent, and 3% in non-parental households. (7)
7. The average cost of homeschooling is $700-$1,800 per student annually.
According to Time4Learning homeschooling cost statistics, the average cost of homeschooling is $700-$1,800 per student annually. (8)
|Curriculum||$350 – $750|
|Supplies & materials||$150 – $300|
|Field trips||$100 – $250|
|Extracurriculars||$100 – $500|
|Total||$700 – $1,800|
For a family with two school-aged children, homeschooling may cost on average between $1,400 to $3,600 per year. (8)
It’s difficult to pinpoint the average cost of homeschooling for everyone as every family has a unique situation.
The final cost depends on how many children are homeschooled, are there any special needs or health problems, and how logistically accessible libraries, museums, and so on are.
8. 1 in 3 homeschooling households has an annual income of over $100,000.
According to National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) homeschool studies, 34% of homeschooling households have an annual income over $100,000. (7)
|Annual Income||Homeschooling Households|
|$20,000 or less||10%|
|$20,001 to $50,000||20%|
|$50,001 to $75,000||21%|
|$75,001 to $100,000||15%|
Interestingly enough, the highest income bracket of over $100,000 has the highest share of households. (7)
Second highest annual income is $50,001 to $75,000 with 21% of households, followed by $20,001 to $50,000 and 20% of households.
|Education Level||Homeschooling Parents|
|High school diploma or less||23%|
|Vocational/technical, associate’s degree, or some college||26%|
|Bachelor’s degree/some graduate school||31%|
NHERI data also reveals that 31% of homeschooling parents own a bachelor’s or some graduate school degree. (7)
Can this be correlated with higher annual income? We don’t know, as there’s no formal evidence on this.
9. Homeschooling saves about $56 billion of taxpayer money annually.
According to National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), homeschooling saves about $56 billion of taxpayer money annually. (2)
|Taxpayer Savings||Homeschool Students||Public School Cost|
|$56 billion||3.721 million||$15,240 per student|
The reality is that public schools aren’t free. Taxpayers spend on average $15,240 per student annually for public schools.
The more homeschooled students there are, the bigger savings there will be for the federal government on taxpayers’ money. This is $56 billion of taxpayers’ money that can be used for other causes.
How much does homeschooling cost?
The average cost of homeschooling is $700-$1,800 per student annually.
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a parent-led home-based education form that is the fastest-growing in the U.S.
How many homeschool students are in the U.S.?
There are 3.7 million homeschool students in the U.S. Homeschool students make up 6.73% of all school-aged children.
Do homeschool students perform better?
Yes, homeschool students outperform institutional school students academically.
What percentage of students are homeschooled?
6.73% (3.7 million) of all school-aged children in the U.S. are homeschooled.
Will homeschooling increase after the pandemic?
Yes, homeschooling rates doubled after the lockdowns in the U.S.
- National Home Education Research Institute. 2021. How Many Homeschool Students Are There in the United States? Pre-Covid-19 and Post-Covid-19: New Data. Link
- National Home Education Research Institute. 2022. Research Facts on Homeschooling. Link
- United States Census Bureau. 2021. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey Shows Significant Increase in Homeschooling Rates in Fall 2020. Link
- National Center for Educational Statistics. 2021. Homeschooled students ages 5 through 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12, by reasons their parents gave for homeschooling, the one reason their parents identified as most important, and race/ethnicity of child. Link
- EdChoice. 2020. Homeschooling Experiences and Opinions During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Link
- Brian D. Ray (2017) A systematic review of the empirical research on selected aspects of homeschooling as a school choice, Journal of School Choice, 11:4, 604-621, DOI: 10.1080/15582159.2017.1395638. Link
- National Center for Educational Statistics. 2021. Homeschooled students ages 5 through 17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through 12th grade, by selected child, parent, and household characteristics. Link
- Time 4 Learning. 2022. How Much Does Homeschooling Cost? Link