How many schools are there in the US?

by Gail Flores

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The US has a vast education system. In this article, we’ll explore the world of US schools, from the different specialized schools, to how many schools there are in every state and the impact of schools on society. We’ll cover:

  • Types of schools in the US: An overview
  • General statistics on the number of schools in the US
  • Public schools vs private schools
  • How many schools are there in the US per type
  • How many schools in the US per population
  • Top 10 states with the highest number of schools
  • Top 10 states with the lowest number of schools
  • How many schools in the US per state
  • Impact of schools on the US economy
  • Frequently asked questions

Let’s jump in!

Top statistics

  • There are a total of 115,576 schools in the US.
  • There are 90,148 public schools which make up 78% of all schools in the US.
  • About 22% of the schools in the US are private schools, amounting to 25,428 schools.
  • There are 64,665 elementary schools in the US, 12,517 middle schools, and 20,469 high schools.
  • There are 2,683 special education schools and 1,262 career and technical schools in the US.
  • 11,355 schools, which is less than 10% of private and public schools, cover all K-12 levels.
  • The states with the highest number of schools are California with 14,176 schools, followed by Texas and Florida with 11,199 and 6,777 schools, respectively.
  • The states with the lowest number of schools are Delaware with 372 schools, followed by Wyoming and Hawaii with 398 and 424 schools, respectively.

Types of schools in the US: An overview

Schools vary according to the type of control, year level, and specialization. (National School Choice Week).

Traditional Public Schools: These schools do not require tuition and are operated by local, state, and federal government funds. 

Public Charter Schools: These are publicly funded schools that are privately managed. They have more local authority, allowing them to choose their own curriculum and set rules and regulations that work best for their student population.

Public Magnet Schools: These are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. They are designed to attract students of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.

Private School: Private schools receive funding from sources, such as tuition, other than the government. They may have different educational philosophies and can be religious or secular

General statistics on the number of schools in the US

1. There are a total of 115,576 schools in the US. This includes all K-12 public and private schools and specialized schools focusing on adult education and vocational training. (MDR Education).

2. There is one school for every 2,881 people in the US.

Public schools vs private schools

3. Public schools make up 78% of all schools in the US. (MDR Education).

4. There are 90,148 public schools in the US.

5. 116 public schools in the US are Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, which are public schools operated by Native American tribal councils.

6. 47% of public schools are Title I schools, which serve a high percentage of low-income families.

7. 54,632 schools in the US are eligible for Title I funding.

8. About 22% of the schools in the US are private schools.

9. There are 5,583 Catholic private schools in the US.

10. 13,894 of the private schools in the US are non-Catholic and are either secular or affiliated with another religion.

How many schools are there in the US per type

11. Some schools specialize in serving adult students and special-needs children or offer career and technical or vocational training. (We Are Teachers).

12. 416 of the schools in the US serve adult students.

13.  2% of schools in the US are special education schools, which serve students with special needs, such as learning or physical disabilities.

14. There are 2,683 special education schools in the US.

15. There are 1,262 career and technical schools in the US, which focus on providing hands-on learning experiences so students can jumpstart their careers after graduating from high school.

Magnet and charter schools

16. Magnet and charter schools are a special type of public schools.

17. Magnet schools are open to all students within a school district or designated metro area. They are also organized around a “theme” or area of interest, such as STEM or fine and performing arts.

18. Magnet schools represent 2.3% of public schools. (MDR Education).

19. There are 2,073 total magnet schools in the US.

20. 691 of all magnet schools focus primarily on STEM.

Other special schools

21.  Blue Ribbon schools are public and private schools that have demonstrated high academic achievement or helped to close the achievement gap for under-achieving populations. 

22. In 2022, 0.25% of all schools in the US were hailed as Blue Ribbon schools, representing 291 schools.

23. Less than 2% of schools hold classes all year long, with no summer break. (We Are Teachers)

24. 2,063 schools are year-round schools.

25. There are 898 online schools currently open in the U.S.

Schools per grade level

26. Some schools cater to students in all K-12 levels, while some focus only on elementary, middle, or high school.

27. Less than 10% of schools cover all K-12 levels.

28. 11,355 public and private schools in the U.S. cover all grades K-12.

Elementary Schools

29. 64,665 public and private schools focus on elementary students, which cover kindergarten through fifth grade.

Middle Schools

30. There are 12,517 middle schools in the US, which serve sixth through eighth graders.

31. 2,209 schools serve seventh and eighth graders or junior high school.

32. All in all, there are a total of 114,726 schools that cover middle school and junior high.

Senior High Schools

33. High school covers ninth through twelfth grades.

34. There are 20, 469 senior high schools in the US.

Top 10 states with the highest number of schools

35. Here are the top 10 states with the highest number of schools in the US:

StateTotalPublic schoolsPrivate schools
California14,17610,3743,802
Texas11,1999,1792,020 
Florida6,7774,2352,542
New York6,6494,8021,847
Illinois6,0174,387 1,630
Ohio4,9603,6561,304
Michigan4,4413,540901 
North Carolina3,5902,752838 
New Jersey3,9322,5771,355
Washington2,9992,544455 
Source: Public School Review, Private School Review

Top 10 states with the lowest number of schools

36. Here are the top 10 states with the lowest number of schools in the US:

StateTotalPublic schoolsPrivate schools
Delaware372231141
Wyoming398359 39 
Hawaii424295 129 
Vermont437304 133 
Rhode Island486315 171 
Alaska55050050
North Dakota583526 57 
South Dakota837749 88 
Montana959832 127 
Connecticut1,4141,001413
Source: Public School Review, Private School Review

How many schools in the US per state

37. Here’s a summary of how many schools there are in the US per state:

StateTotalPublic schoolsPrivate schools
Alabama1,9291,479450
Alaska55050050
Arizona2,8982,421477
Arkansas1,2711,084187 
California14,17610,3743,802
Colorado2,4441,939505
Connecticut1,4141,001413
D.C.344241103
Delaware372231141
Florida6,7774,2352,542
Georgia3,1912,315876
Hawaii424295 129 
Idaho1,6621,511151 
Illinois6,0174,387 1,630
Indiana2,7301,915815
Iowa1,5711,326245
Kansas1,5841,355229 
Kentucky1,9141,535379 
Louisiana1,4911,084407 
Maine1,6681,511157 
Maryland2,2521,419833 
Massachusetts2,7021,847855
Michigan4,4413,540901 
Minnesota3,3452,709636
Mississippi1,7491,511238 
Missouri3,1342,461673 
Montana959832 127 
Nebraska1,7391,511228 
Nevada932756 176 
New Hampshire783496 287 
New Jersey3,9322,5771,355
New Mexico1,122934 188 
New York6,6494,8021,847
North Carolina3,5902,752838 
North Dakota583526 57 
Ohio4,9603,6561,304
Oklahoma2,0091,793216 
Oregon1,7621,290472 
Pennsylvania2,5222,335187 
Rhode Island486315 171 
South Carolina1,6981,269429 
South Dakota837749 88 
Tennessee2,4861,907579 
Texas11,1999,1792,020 
Utah1,2961,114182 
Vermont437304 133 
Virginia3,1482,1331,015
Washington2,9992,544455 
West Virginia832698 134 
Wisconsin3,2022,249953 
Wyoming398359 39 
Source: Private School Review

According to Private School Review, a leading source of information on schools in the US, here’s the breakdown of the number of public and private schools per state:

Alabama

38. There are 455 private schools in Alabama.

39. 10% of all K-12 students in Alabama are educated in private schools.

40. 1,511 of the schools in Alabama are public schools, serving 90% of students.

41. 75% of all private schools in Alabama are religiously affiliated.

Alaska

41. There are 57 private schools in Alaska.

43. 4% of all K-12 students in Alaska are educated in private schools.

44. 500 of the schools in Alaska are public schools, serving 96% of students.

45. 72% of all private schools in Alaska are religiously affiliated.

Arizona

46. In Arizona, there are 477 private schools 

47. 6% of all K-12 students in Arizona are educated in private schools.

48. 2,474 of the schools in Arizona are public schools, serving 94% of students.

49. 51% of all private schools in Arizona are religiously affiliated.

Arkansas

50. There are 187 private schools in Arkansas.

51. 6% of all K-12 students in Arkansas are educated in private schools.

52. 1,084 of the schools in Arkansas are public schools, serving 94% of students.

53. 79% of all private schools in Arkansas are religiously affiliated.

California

54. There are 3,802 private schools in California.

55. 10% of all K-12 students in California are educated in private schools.

56. 10,374 of the schools in California are public schools, serving 90% of students.

57. 49% of all private schools in California are religiously affiliated.

Colorado

58. There are 505 private schools in Colorado.

59. 8% of all K-12 students in Colorado are educated in private schools.

60. 1,939 of the schools in Colorado are public schools, serving 92% of students.

61. 49% of all private schools in Colorado are religiously affiliated.

Connecticut

62. Connecticut has 413 private schools.

63. 11% of all K-12 students in Connecticut are educated in private schools.

64. Connecticut is home to 1,001 public schools, serving 89% of students.

65. 49% of all private schools in Connecticut are religiously affiliated.

D.C.

66. There are 103 private schools in D.C.

67. 18% of all K-12 students in D.C. are educated in private schools.

68. 241 of D.C. schools are public, serving 82% of all K-12 students.

69. 45% of all private schools in D.C. are affiliated with religious institutions.

Delaware

70. Students in Delaware can choose from 141 private schools.

71. Approximately 14% of K-12 students in Delaware receive their education in private schools.

72. Delaware has a network of 231 public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

73. Most private schools in Delaware, accounting for 60%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

Florida

74. There are 2,542 private schools in Florida.

75. 13% of Florida students attend private schools for their education.

76. 4,235 of the schools in Florida are public schools, serving 87% of all K-12 students.

77. 57% of private schools in Florida are affiliated with religious institutions.

Georgia

78. There are 876 private schools in Georgia.

79. The private school sector in Georgia serves 8% of K-12 students.

80. Georgia is home to 2,315 public schools, serving 92% of all K-12 students.

81. In Georgia, 61% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Hawaii

82. Hawaii has 129 private schools.

83. Private schools in Hawaii educate 19% of the total K-12 student population.

84. 295 of the schools in Hawaii are public schools, serving 81% of all K-12 students.

85. 71% of private schools in Hawaii are affiliated with religious institutions.

Idaho

86. There are 151 private schools in Idaho.

87. 6% of all K-12 students in Idaho are educated in private schools.

88.1,511 of the schools in Idaho are public schools, serving 94% of all K-12 students.

89. 64% of all private schools in Idaho are religiously affiliated.

Illinois

90. Illinois has 1,630 private schools.

91. Private schools in Illinois educate 12% of the total K-12 student population.

92. 4,387 of the schools in Illinois are public schools, serving 88% of all K-12 students.

93. 56% of private schools in Illinois are affiliated with religious institutions.

Indiana

94. There are 815 private schools in Indiana.

95. The private school sector in Indiana serves 11% of K-12 students.

96. Indiana is home to 1,915 public schools, serving 89% of all K-12 students.

97. In Indiana, 79% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Iowa

98. Students in Iowa can choose from 245 private schools.

99. Approximately 8% of K-12 students in Iowa receive their education in private schools.

100. Iowa has a network of 1,326 public schools, serving 92% of all K-12 students.

101. Most private schools in Iowa, accounting for 84%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

Kansas

102. There are 229 private schools in Kansas.

103. 8% of Kansas students attend private schools for their education.

104. 1,355 of the schools in Kansas are public schools, serving 92% of all K-12 students.

105. 80% of private schools in Kansas are affiliated with religious institutions.

Kentucky

106. There are 379 private schools in Kentucky.

107. The private school sector in Kentucky serves 9% of K-12 students.

108. Kentucky is home to 1,535 public schools, serving 91% of all K-12 students.

109. In Kentucky, a significant 77% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Louisiana

110. Students in Louisiana can choose from 407 private schools.

111. Approximately 15% of K-12 students in Louisiana receive their education in private schools.

112. Louisiana has a network of 1,084 public schools, serving 85% of all K-12 students.

113. Most private schools in Louisiana, accounting for 81%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

Maine

114. There are 157 private schools in Alabama.

115. 10% of Arkansas students attend private schools for their education.

116. 1,511 of the schools in Alabama are public schools, serving 90% of all K-12 students.

117. Only 39% of private schools in Arkansas are affiliated with religious institutions.

Maryland

118. There are 833 private schools in Maryland.

119. 14% of all K-12 students in Maryland are educated in private schools.

120. 1,419 of the schools in Maryland are public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

121. 54% of all private schools in Maryland are religiously affiliated.

Massachusetts

122. There are 855 private schools in Massachusetts.

123. 12% of Massachusetts students attend private schools for their education.

124. 1,847 of the schools in Massachusetts are public schools, serving 88% of all K-12 students.

125. Only 34% of private schools in Massachusetts are affiliated with religious institutions.

Michigan

126. There are 901 private schools in Michigan.

127. The private school sector in Michigan serves 9% of K-12 students.

128. Michigan is home to 3,540 public schools, serving 91% of all K-12 students.

129. In Michigan, a significant 75% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Minnesota

130. There are 636 private schools in Minnesota.

131. The private school sector in Minnesota serves 10% of K-12 students.

132. Minnesota is home to 2,709 public schools, serving 90% of all K-12 students.

133. In Minnesota, a significant 69% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Mississippi

134. Mississippi has 238 private schools.

135. Private schools in Mississippi educate 10%% of the total K-12 student population.

136. 1,511 of the schools in Mississippi are public schools, serving 90% of all K-12 students.

137. 77% of private schools in Mississippi are affiliated with religious institutions.

Missouri

138. Students in Missouri can choose from 673 private schools.

139. Approximately 12% of K-12 students in Missouri receive their education in private schools.

140. Missouri has a network of 2,461 public schools, serving 88% of all K-12 students.

141. Most private schools in Missouri, accounting for 74%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

Montana

142. There are 127 private schools in Montana.

143. 7% of Montana students attend private schools for their education.

144. 832 of the schools in Montana are public schools, serving 93% of all K-12 students.

145. 65% of private schools in Montana are affiliated with religious institutions.

Nebraska

146. Nebraska has 228 private schools.

147. Private schools in Nebraska educate 11% of the total K-12 student population.

148. 1,511 of the schools in Nebraska are public schools, serving 89% of all K-12 students.

149. 84% of private schools in Nebraska are affiliated with religious institutions.

Nevada

150. There are 176 private schools in Nevada.

151. The private school sector in Nevada serves 6% of K-12 students.

152. Nevada is home to 756 public schools, serving 94% of all K-12 students.

153. In Nevada, 50% of private schools have religious affiliations.

New Hampshire

154. There are 287 private schools in New Hampshire.

155. 14% of all K-12 students in New Hampshire are educated in private schools.

156. 496 of the schools in New Hampshire are public schools, serving 91% of all K-12 students.

157. Only 29% of all private schools in New Hampshire are religiously affiliated.

New Jersey

158. New Jersey has 1,355 private schools.

159. Private schools in New Jersey educate 14% of the total K-12 student population.

160. 2,577 of the schools in New Jersey are public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

161. 43% of private schools in New Jersey are affiliated with religious institutions.

New Mexico

162. Students in New Mexico can choose from 188 private schools.

163. Approximately 7% of K-12 students in New Mexico receive their education in private schools.

164. New Mexico has a network of 934 public schools, serving 93% of all K-12 students.

165. Most private schools in New Mexico, accounting for 61%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

New York

166. There are 1,847 private schools in New York.

167. 15% of all K-12 students in New York are educated in private schools.

168. 4,802 of the schools in New York are public schools, serving 85% of all K-12 students.

169. 64% of all private schools in New York are religiously affiliated.

North Carolina

170. North Carolina has 838 private schools.

171. Private schools in North Carolina educate 8% of the total K-12 student population.

172. 2,752 of the schools in North Carolina are public schools, serving 92% of all K-12 students.

173. 60% of private schools in North Carolina are affiliated with religious institutions.

North Dakota

174. Students in North Dakota can choose from 57 private schools.

175. Approximately 7% of K-12 students in North Dakota receive their education in private schools.

176. North Dakota has a network of 526 public schools, serving 93% of all K-12 students.

177. Most private schools in North Dakota, accounting for 81%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

Ohio

178. There are 1,304 private schools in Ohio.

179. The private school sector in Ohio serves 12% of K-12 students.

180. Ohio is home to 3,656 public schools, serving 88% of all K-12 students.

181. In Ohio, a significant 72% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Oklahoma

182. Oklahoma has 216 private schools.

183. Private schools in Oklahoma educate 5% of the total K-12 student population.

184. 1,793 of the schools in Oklahoma are public schools, serving 95% of all K-12 students.

185. 76% of private schools in Oklahoma are affiliated with religious institutions.

Oregon

186. There are 472 private schools in Oregon.

187. 10% of all K-12 students in Oregon are educated in private schools.

188. 1,290 of the schools in Oregon are public schools, serving 90% of all K-12 students.

189. 52% of all private schools in Oregon are religiously affiliated.

Pennsylvania

190. Students in Pennsylvania can choose from 187 private schools.

191. Approximately 14% of K-12 students in Pennsylvania receive their education in private schools.

192. Pennsylvania has a network of 2,335 public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

193. 65% of private schools in Pennsylvania are affiliated with religious organizations.

Rhode Island

194. Rhode Island has 171 private schools.

195. Private schools in Rhode Island educate 14% of the total K-12 student population.

196. 315 of the schools in Rhode Island are public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

197. Only 35% of private schools in Rhode Island are affiliated with religious institutions.

South Carolina

198. South Carolina has 429 private schools.

199. Private schools in South Carolina educate 8% of the total K-12 student population.

200. 1,269 of the schools in South Carolina are public schools, serving 92% of all K-12 students.

201. 75% of private schools in South Carolina are affiliated with religious institutions.

South Dakota

202. There are 88 private schools in Alabama.

203. 9% of Arkansas students attend private schools for their education.

204. 749 of the schools in Alabama are public schools, serving 91% of all K-12 students.

205. 82% of private schools in Arkansas are affiliated with religious institutions.

Tennessee

206. There are 579 private schools in Tennessee.

207. The private school sector in Tennessee serves 10% of K-12 students.

208. Tennessee is home to 1,907 public schools, serving 90% of all K-12 students.

209. In Tennessee, a significant 69% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Texas

210. There are 2,020 private schools in Texas.

211. The private school sector in Texas serves 6% of K-12 students.

212. Texas is home to 9,179 public schools, serving 94% of all K-12 students.

213. In Texas, 59% of private schools have religious affiliations.

Utah

214. Students in Utah can choose from 182 private schools.

215. Only 3% of K-12 students in Utah receive their education in private schools.

216. Utah has a network of 1,114 public schools, serving 97% of all K-12 students.

217. Only 27% of private schools in Utah are affiliated with religious organizations.

Vermont

218. Vermont has 133 private schools.

219. Private schools in Vermont educate 14% of the total K-12 student population.

220. 304 of the schools in Vermont are public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

221. Only 21% of private schools in Vermont are affiliated with religious institutions.

Virginia

222. There are 1,015 private schools in Alabama.

223. 11% of all K-12 students in Alabama are educated in private schools.

224. 2,133 of the schools in Alabama are public schools, serving 89% of all K-12 students.

225. 47% of all private schools in Alabama are religiously affiliated.

Washington

226. There are 455 private schools in Washington.

227. 9% of Washington students attend private schools for their education.

228. 2,544 of the schools in Washington are public schools, serving 91% of all K-12 students.

229. 49% of private schools in Washington are affiliated with religious institutions.

West Virginia

230. Students in West Virginia can choose from 134 private schools.

231. Approximately 5% of K-12 students in West Virginia receive their education in private schools.

232. West Virginia has a network of 698 public schools, serving 95% of all K-12 students.

233. Most private schools in West Virginia, accounting for 85%, are affiliated with religious organizations.

Wisconsin

234. Wisconsin has 953 private schools.

235. Private schools in Wisconsin educate 14% of the total K-12 student population.

236. 2,249 of the schools in Wisconsin are public schools, serving 86% of all K-12 students.

237. 82% of private schools in Wisconsin are affiliated with religious institutions.

Wyoming

238. There are 39 private schools in Wyoming.

239. 3% of all K-12 students in Wyoming are educated in private schools.

240. 359 of the schools in Wyoming are public schools, serving 97% of all K-12 students.

241. 67% of all private schools in Wyoming are religiously affiliated.

Impact of schools on the US economy

242. Public schools are a major source of approximately 8 million jobs in the US before the pandemic. (Chalkbeat).

243. A 10% increase in the average educational attainment of a workforce leads to a 5% increase in GDP. (OECD).

244. Federal, state, and local governments provide $810 billion or $16,390 per pupil to fund K-12 public education. (Education Data Initiative).

Frequently asked questions

How many schools are there in the US?

There are a total of 115,576 schools in the US.

How many private and public schools are there in the US?

There are 90,148 public schools and 25,428 private schools in the US.

How many schools are there per type (elementary, middle, high)?

There are 64,665 elementary schools in the US, 12,517 middle schools, and 20,469 high schools.

Other Learning statistics

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