Number of homeschooled students takes big jump since 2003

Number of homeschooled students takes big jump since 2003
Homeschooling: an American tradition. "Sunday Morning, Virginia" by American impressionist Winslow Homer, 1887.

In the ten-year period from 2003 to 2012, the number of American children 5 through 17 years old who were being homeschooled by their parents climbed by 61.8 percent, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Education.

At the same time, the percentage of all U.S. students in the 5-through-17 age group who were homeschooled increased from 2.2 percent to 3.4 percent.

Homeschooling is most prevalent in two-parent families where one parent works and the other does not, according to the DOE data. Among this type of family, 5.3 percent of all students are homeschooled.

There are also patterns in the data: The more educated the parents, the more likely they are to homeschool their children and middle-income parents are more likely to homeschool than poorer or wealthier parents.

In 2003, according to the DOE estimate, there were 1,096,000 homeschooled children in the 5-through-17 age group in the United States. That equaled 2.2 percent of the 50,707,000 students in that age bracket the United States that year. …

By 2012, the latest year reported with the new data, there were 1,773,000 homeschooled in the 5-through-17 age bracket. That equaled 3.4 percent of the 51,657,000 students in the 5-through-17 age group that year.

The climb from 1,096,000 homeschooled students in 2003 to 1,773,000 in 2012 represented an increase of 677,000—or 61.8 percent–in the number of homeschooled students in the country.

The 1,773,000 homeschooled students in the United States in 2012 outnumbered the Census Bureau’s 2013 population estimates for all U.S. cities except New York (8,175,133), Los Angeles (3,792,621), Chicago (2,695,598), and Houston (2,099,451).

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