100+ Essential Homeschooling Statistics

This article looks at the top 100+ homeschool statistics from 28 recent, credible sources.

Homeschooling has been growing at a steady rate of 2-8% per year. However, since the pandemic there has been a sharp increase in those that are homeschooled. Prior to the pandemic, 3.4% of K-12 population were homeschooled, most recent data indicates this is now 9%.

78% of peer reviewed studies show that homeschool students perform statistically better than those in institutional schools. 75% of homeschool parents cited dissatisfaction with academic instruction as reasons for homeschooling.

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, with homeschooling being most popular in California, North Carolina, and Texas. The UK has the most homeschoolers by count and percentage in Europe. 

In this article, you’ll find:

– Key homeschool statistics

– Homeschooling during the pandemic statistics

– Growth of homeschooling

– Homeschool vs public school statistics

– Homeschool statistics by state

– Statistics against homeschooling

– Reasons for homeschooling statistics

– Homeschool socialization statistics

– UK homeschooling statistics

Top homeschool statistics

  • Prior to the pandemic around 3.4 percent of the total K-12 school-age population was being homeschooled. By Autumn 2020 this had more than doubled to 9%
  • Half of parents who weren’t homeschooling before the pandemic view it more favorably now. 
  • Over 300 million children worldwide are being homeschooled
  • Over 90% of homeschoolers studied are glad they were homeschooled.
  • 80% of homeschooled children who were studied said they would homeschool their own children.
  • 78% of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement show homeschool students perform statistically significantly better than those in institutional schools.
  • Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states.
  • California, North Carolina, and Texas have the highest number of homeschooling students.
  • Vermont, Wyoming, and Connecticut have the lowest number of homeschoolers.
  • Studies have found homeschoolers were far less likely to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based disciplines.
  • 74% of homeschooling parents cited dissatisfaction with academic instruction in schools as a reason for their choice.
  • 71% of the homeschooled participate in ongoing community service activities compared to 37% of the general population.
  • The greatest number and percentage of European homeschoolers reside in the UK.

Homeschooling in the pandemic

Commentary: the pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in the number of homeschooled students, and many parents have a more favorable view of homeschooling now then before the pandemic.
  • Half of parents who weren’t homeschooling in February 2020 viewed it more favorably in June. (Shaw, 2020)
  • A quarter of parents who weren’t homeschooling in February 2020 viewed it less favorably in June. (Shaw, 2020)
  • 53% of Black parents had a more favorable view of homeschooling following the pandemic. (Shaw, 2020)
  • Prior to the pandemic around 3.4 percent of the total K-12 school-age population was being homeschooled. By Autumn 2020 this had more than doubled to 9%. (Education Week, 2020)
  • The National Home School Association received over 3,400 requests for information on a single day in July 2020, up from 5-20 inquiries per day before coronavirus. (MPR News) 
  • In Massachusetts,7,188 students statewide transferred from public schools into homeschooling in 2020, compared to 802 transfers last year. (Shaw, 2020)
  • In North Carolina, homeschooling filings nearly tripled and crashed the state’s non public education website. (Shaw, 2020)
  • Enrollment in public schools is down for the first time in 15 years in Nebraska due to the pandemic. (Education Week, 2020)
  • In Wisconsin the number of parents filing to homeschool their children increased threefold due to the pandemic. (Education Week, 2020)
  • Over 300 million children worldwide are suddenly being homeschooled. (Forbes, 2020)
  • In the UK between May-June 2020, 87% of parents said a child in their household had been homeschooled because of the coronavirus pandemic. (ONS, 2020)
  • Over half (52%) of parents said a child in their household was struggling to continue their education while at home, with 77% giving lack of motivation as one of the reasons. (ONS, 2020)
  • When schools closed in the UK and remote learning was initiated, 28% of children aged 13 and over said they got no help from parents and 43.1% had an hour or less. (Children’s Commissioner, 2020)

Growth of homeschooling

Commentary: homeschooling has been growing at a persistent, steady rate over the last two decades.
  • In 2021 the number of homeschool children is estimated to be between 5-6million. (NHERI)
  • The homeschool population grew at around 2% to 8% pa over the past several years, but grew dramatically 2019-2021. (NHERI)
  • It is estimated that over 9 million Americans had experienced being homeschooled as of February 2020. (NHERI)
  • The number of homeschooled children in the US in Spring 2019 was estimated at about 2.5 million (NHERI)
  • 9% of parents who weren’t homeschooling their children last school year said they planned to do so at least some of the time in 2020. (Education Week, 2020)
  • Some studies estimate that between 6-12% of American school-aged children will be homeschooled for one or more grades. (Maranto & Bell, 2018)
  • Most homeschooled children are white, 68% and non-poor, 80%. (Ray, 2017)
  • Between 1999-2016 the percentage of children being homeschooled almost doubled from 1.7% to 3.3%. (NCES)
  • In 2012, there were more students in grades K-12 being schooled in this way than in Roman Catholic schools. (Ray, 2017)
  • In 2009, 98% of parents who homeschooled had graduated from high school, compared to 82% nationally. (HSLDA)
  • In  2012, around 25% of homeschooling parents had taken a course to help them prepare for their child’s home instruction. (NCES)
  • 62% of homeschool students live in cities and suburban areas, while the others live in towns and rural areas. (Ray, 2017)
  • Over 90% of those studied are glad they were homeschooled. (NHERI)
  • 80% of homeschooled children who were studied said they would homeschool their own children. (NHERI)

Homeschooling vs public schools statistics

Commentary: data indicates that homeschoolers generally perform better than their public school counterparts. 
  • 78% of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement show homeschool students perform statistically significantly better than those in institutional schools.  (Ray, 2017)
  • The homeschooled consistently score well above the public school national average. Most studies find them scoring in the range of the 65-80th percentile. (Ray, 2017) 
  • Generally, studies examining SAT data show that homeschooled students outperform traditional public school students. (Maranto & Bell, 2018)
  • More than 78% of surveyed admission officers said they expect homeschool graduates to perform as well, or better, in their 1st year of college than traditional high school graduates. (Gloeckner, 2013)
  • SAT data showed the average score for homeschooled students was 80.5 points higher than the public school average. (Belfield, 2004)
  • When corrected for background factors homeschooled students scored 38.6 points better than predicted. (Belfield, 2004)
  • Where homeschooling was structured, in 5 of 7 test areas homeschoolers were at least one grade level ahead of public schoolers. (Chang, 2011)
  • Students whose parents were actively involved in their education scored significantly higher on the ACT than those reporting low levels of parental involvement. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • A 2015 study showed that black homeschooled children outperformed their black public school peers in all areas.  (Ray, 2017)
  • 11 of the 16 studies (69%) on success into adulthood and college showed positive outcomes for the homeschooled compared to those in conventional schools. (Ray, 2020)
  • While homeschoolers represent only 3% of the student population, they average 25% of the contestants annually at the Scripps spelling bee, 10% of the National Geographic Bee, and 66% of the USA Math Olympiad. (2011)
  • 66.7% of homeschooled students graduate from college, compared to 57.5% of public school pupils. (NHERI, HSLDA)
  • Homeschooled SAT-takers’ scores are higher on the verbal than the math section, the opposite is true for public school students. (CRHE)

If you’re interested in knowing more about how homeschooling vs public schooling, you may be interested in our article on the benefits of homeschooling.

Homeschooling by state

Commentary: though homeschooling is legal in every state, each state has its own legal structure for homeschooling. Some states have a lot of regulation, others very little.
  • Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states
  • Every state in the United States has at least one homeschooling association. (Carlson, 2020)
  • California, North Carolina, and Texas have the highest number of homeschooling students, with over 100,000 pupils each. (NHERI)
  • Vermont, Wyoming, and Connecticut have the lowest number of homeschoolers with less than 3000 students. (NHERI)
  • Homeschooled students in Alaska scored significantly lower in math than their traditional counterparts in almost every demographic category. (McCracken & Coleman, 2020)
  • 11 states do not require parents to notify anyone that they are homeschooling: Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas. (CRHE)
  • 16 States have low regulation of homeschooling: California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Delaware (HSLDA)
  • 5 states have high regulation of homeschooling: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont (HSLDA)
  • The 5 states most friendly towards homeschooling are Alaska, Michigan, Idaho, Texas or Oklahoma. (HSLDA) 
  • Oregon’s Department of Education consistently reveals homeschooled student scores to be above average, with medians at about the 71st to 80th percentile (Williams, 2014).
  • In Iowa, university admissions department data showed that homeschoolers had a 26.1 mean ACT composite score, as compared to a 24.6 mean score for all entering freshmen. (2003)
  • In Massachusetts,7,188 students statewide transferred from public schools into homeschooling in 2020, compared to 802 transfers last year. (Shaw, 2020)
  • In North Carolina, homeschooling filings nearly tripled and crashed the state’s non public education website during 2020. (Shaw, 2020)
  • An Alaskan study covering 2010-17 found that home educated correspondence students had significantly lower graduation rates than students in public schools (Wilkens & Kalenda, 2019)
  • Enrollment in public schools is down for the first time in 15 years in Nebraska due to the pandemic. (Education Week, 2020)
  • Homeschooled students in Arkansas score ten or more percentile points better in math than in reading. (CRHE)
  • 6% more of Alaska’s homeschoolers are more proficient in reading than their public school counterparts, but 6% fewer are proficient in math. (CRHE)

Statistics against homeschooling

Commentary: data indicates that homeschool students perform less well in Math compared to their counterparts. Data also shows the homeschooled are likely to perform less well when the learning environment is unstructured.
  • SAT data showed the average score for homeschooled students was 30.7 points lower than the private independent school average. (Belfield, 2004)
  • Homeschool graduates are less likely to attend a prestigious university, or both college and graduate school, than conventional school graduates. (Cardus, 2011)
  • Homeschooled students in Alaska scored significantly lower in math than their traditional counterparts. (McCracken & Coleman, 2020)
  • There is a 30 year trend that shows up across the board that shows homeschooling strengthens verbal skills but weakens maths capacities. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • Two studies in Texas and Pennsylvania found that homeschoolers’ math GPAs were lower than those of college students who had attended formal institutions. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • Studies have found homeschoolers were far less likely to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based disciplines. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • Homeschooled SAT-takers’ scores are lower on the math than the verbal section, the opposite is true for public school students. (CRHE)
  • Homeschooled students on average have substantially lower math scores compared to reading scores, a discrepancy that may follow many into their adult lives. (CRHE)
  • Where homeschooling was unstructured, in every test area, homeschoolers got lower scores than their traditionally schooled peers. (Chang, 2011)
  • Homeschoolers aged 12+ were 2-3 times more likely than their public-school peers to report being behind grade level. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • An Alaskan study covering 2010-17 found that home educated students had significantly lower graduation rates than students in public schools (Wilkens & Kalenda, 2019)
  • In 2010, only 7.7% of homeschool graduates at Grove City College, Pennsylvania, majored in natural sciences compared to17.8% of their public school counterparts.(CRHE)
  • In 2010, only 5.1% of homeschool graduates at Grove City College, Pennsylvania, majored in math/engineering compared to 15.6% of their public school counterparts. (CRHE)

Reasons for homeschooling statistics

  • 91% of parents gave concern with the school environment (drugs, safety, negative peer pressure, etc) as their main reason for homeschooling. (Redford, 2017)
  • 77% of homeschooling parents chose it because they wanted to provide a moral education. (Redford, 2017)
  • 74% of homeschooling parents cited dissatisfaction with academic instruction in schools as a reason for their choice. (Redford, 2017)
  • The desire to provide a religious education was named by 64% of parents. (Redford, 2017)
  • 6% of parents cited a child’s health problems or special needs as the reason for their choice to home educate. (Redford, 2017)
  • 40% of African-American parents said they wanted to give the child more instruction on African American/black culture and history. (Ray, 2017)
  • 20% of African-American parents said they chose homeschooling because they wanted to avoid racism in public schools.” (Ray, 2017)

Homeschooling socialization and emotional/psychological development statistics

Commentary: data indicates that homeschooled children are more likely to take part in social and extracurricular activities compared to their counterparts. 
  • Out of nearly 100 studies, most showed that homeschoolers do not suffer in comparison with their conventionally-schooled counterparts across a range of social skills. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • 71% of the homeschooled participate in ongoing community service activities compared to 37% of the general population. (NHERI)
  • The home educated were more civically and politically engaged than the general population. (NHERI)
  • Investigations have consistently found that homeschoolers fare well, possibly better than their public school counterparts, when it comes to socialization. (Carlson, 2020) 
  • Out of 15 studies on social and emotional development, 13 of them (87%) showed clearly significant positive outcomes for the homeschooled students compared to those in conventional schools. (Ray, 2020) 
  • 98% of homeschoolers are involved in more than two activities outside their home, and the average number of activities they are engaged in is 5.2. (NHERI)

Homeschooling in the UK

Commentary: a relaxed attitude to homeschooling in the UK means that it has more children educated this way than any other European nation.
  • The greatest number and percentage of European homeschoolers reside in the UK. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • It is estimated that 60,000 children were being home educated in the UK in 2018. (BBC, 2019)
  • The Children’s Commissioner found there was a 32% increase in the number of primary school children moving from school to home education between 2015-2018. (BBC, 2019)
  • The Children’s Commissioner found a 71% increase in the number of children from secondary schools moving to home education between 2015-18. (BBC, 2019)
  • The number of children being homeschooled in the UK rose by about 40% between 2014-16. (BBC, 2018)  
  • 92% of authorities able to provide data for all three years (2014-16) reported an increase in children being withdrawn to be homeschooled. (BBC, 2018)
  • 0.6% of authorities able to provide data for the years 2014-16 reported a decrease in children being withdrawn to be homeschooled. (BBC, 2018)
  • The greatest number of homeschooled children (1 in 50) in the UK are on the Isle of White. (BBC, 2018)
  • In Wales about 0.4% of children were homeschooled in 2016-17. (BBC, 2018)
  • In Scotland, just 0.1% of children are home-educated. (BBC, 2018)
  • In Northern Ireland less than 0.1% of the school-aged population was home educated in 2017. (BBC, 2018)
  • Only 15% of respondents to the 2013 Opinions and Lifestyle survey listed religion as a motive for homeschooling (Kunzman, 2020)
  • The 2013 Opinions and Lifestyle survey found that 23% of UK home educators elected to home educate because of a child’s special needs. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • Many mothers turn to home education because of repeated frustration with their local school’s handling of their child’s special circumstances (Kunzman, 2020)
  • A study of UK Travellers, including Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers found that bullying at school was a significant reason for homeschooling. (Kunzman, 2020)
  • In the UK between 7 May and 7 June 2020, 87% of parents said a child in their household had been homeschooled because of the coronavirus pandemic. (ONS, 2020)
  • When schools closed in the UK and remote learning was initiated, 28% of children aged 13 and over said they got no help from parents and 43.1% had an hour or less. (Children’s Commissioner, 2020)
  • When schools reopened in October 2020, homeschool registrations increased by more than 200% in some areas. (Schoolsweek, 2020)
  • Almost half the schools surveyed by Ofsted after schools reopened in October 2020 reported students leaving to be homeschooled. (Schoolsweek, 2020)

Sources

  1. National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)
  2. Coalition for Responsible Home Schooling (CRHE) 
  3. A review of research on homeschooling and what Educators might learn (2017) Brian Ray
  4. National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES)
  5. A systematic review of the empirical research on selected aspects of homeschooling as a school choice (2017) Brian Ray
  6. The Homeschool Legal Defence Association (HLDA)
  7. Reflections on a Decade of Changes in Homeschooling and the Homeschooled into Higher Education (2013) Gene Gloeckner
  8. Homeschooling in the 21st Century, Research and Prospects (2018) ed. Maranto & Bell
  9. Martin-Chang S, Gould ON, and Meuse, R E. The impact of schooling on academic achievement: Evidence from homeschooled and traditionally schooled students. Chang et al (2011)
  10. Modelling school choice, Clive Belfield (2004)
  11. What is “Good Research” Brian Ray (2020)
  12. The Cardus Education Survey (2011)
  13. A Meaningful Measure of Homeschool Academic Achievement, McCracken & Coleman (2020)
  14. Context and Regulation of Homeschooling Janet Carlson (2020)
  15. Homeschooling in the United States, Redford et al (2012)
  16. Homeschooling experiences and views during the pandemic, Michael Shaw, 2020
  17. Homeschooling is way up with Covid 19. Will it last? Education Week, 2020
  18. The World’s homeschooling moment, Forbes, 2020
  19. MPR News
  20. ONS (UK Office for National Statistics), 2020
  21. The numbers behind homeschooling during lockdown, The UK Children’s Commissioner, 2020
  22. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 2018
  23. Homeschooling: An Updated Comprehensive Survey of the Research, Kunzman et al 2020
  24. Correspondence Schools in Alaska, Wilkens and Kalenda, (2019)
  25. The Homeschool Math Gap, CRHE, 2020
  26. Schoolweek, 2020
  27. Call to register home-schooled children, BBC (2019)
  28. Homeschooling in the UK increases 40% in three years, BBC (2018)

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