Interactive Homeschool Statistics & Research Facts for 2017

Facts and statistics can by dry. That's why our homeschool statistics page is designed to be fun and interactive while still informing readers about current research about modern homeschooling!

Because we're going to be talking about homeschoolers a lot, let's start off by defining what we mean by "homeschooled students."

The Definition of Homeschooled Students

The following conditions must be met in order for a person to be considered a homeschooled student:

  • The individual is school-age (ages 5–17) and in a grade equivalent to at least kindergarten, but not higher than 12th grade.
  • The individual receives all OR most of his/her educational instruction at home instead of at a public OR private school.

Homeschool Facts

What is the #1 reason why parents homeschool their children? Drawing from the 2012 (updated April 2017) U.S. Department of Education research data, parents were asked to record all "very important reasons" for why they homeschool and selected a single "most important reason."

Quiz: Can you guess the most popular reasons for homeschooling?


There is an incorrect stereotype that most homeschoolers are only outside the public schools for religious reasons. This is false.

91% of parents voiced concern about the environment of other schools and 25% marked this as their #1 most important reason for homeschooling. Below is the full answer breakdown in a table.

ReasonImportant PercentMost Important Percent
A concern about the environment of other schools,such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure9125
A desire to provide moral instruction775
A dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools7419
A desire to provide religious instruction6417
A desire to provide a nontraditional approach to child’s education445
Other reasons3721
Child has other special needs16‡
Child has a physical or mental health problem175

Homeschool Statistics in the U.S.

How many children are homeschooled in the United States?

Racial makeup of the U.S. homeschool population

Although recent press suggests homeschooling is continually becoming an appealing option to many racial groups, the most current data from 2012 (U.S. Department of Education) shows a disproportionately high percentage of White homeschooled students.

  • White (83 percent)
  • Hispanic (7 percent)
  • Black (5 percent)
  • Asian or Pacific Islander (2 percent)

This illustration is easier to see when compared side-by-side against the U.S. population's distribution by race and ethnicity. The homeschool population is shown first (designated by [HS]) and the general population is shown to the right.

Are the parents qualified to teach their children?

The National Center for Education Statistics claims that a quarter of parents took some type of class/course to prepare themselves for home education.

Graph of parents who took a class to prepare for homeschooling


References, Sources, & Data

Last modified: May 6, 2017