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How Many Teachers are there in the U.S?

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Report Highlights

  • By 2018, the number of teachers nationwide in public and private elementary and secondary schools was 3,652,000.
  • In 2019-2020, there were 3,808,920 public school instructional staff in the United States, overall.
  • The same year, there were 3,214,673 public school teachers in the U.S.
  • This allowed for a student to teacher ratio of 15.4 overall, with 16.0 on average at public schools and 11.9 on average at private schools.
  • Projections estimate a total of 3,909,000 teachers in the United States by 2029, with 3,390,000 in public schools and 520,000 at private schools, allowing for a student to teacher ratio of 14.5 overall, and 15.1 at public schools and 11.0 at private schools.

number of teachers in the us

Other statistics: US Literacy Statistics, Average Private School Tuition, Average Community College Cost.

Number of Teachers over Time

  • In 1955, there were 1,286,000 teachers in the United States in public and private elementary and secondary schools.
  • Of these, 1,141,000 were public school teachers.
  • The same year, 145,000 of these teachers were private school teachers.
  • This allowed for a student to teacher ratio of 27.4 overall, with 26.9 at public schools and 31.7 at private schools in 1955, on average.
  • By 1995, there were 2,974,000 teachers in the United States between all public, private, elementary, and secondary schools.
  • The same year, there were 2,598,000 public school teachers and 376,000 private school teachers.
  • This allowed for a student to teacher ratio of 17.1 overall, and 17.1 at public schools and 15.7 at private schools, on average in 1995.
  • By 2018, the number of teachers nationwide in public and private elementary and secondary schools was 3,652,000.
  • At public schools, there were 3,170,000 and at private schools there were 482,000.
  • This allowed for a student to teacher ratio of 15.4 overall, with 16.0 on average at public schools and 11.9 on average at private schools.
  • The projected number of teachers nationwide for 2021 was 3,684,000, with 3,197,000 at public schools and 488 at private schools.
  • This would allow for a student to teacher ratio of 15.3 on average, which breaks down to 15.8 at public schools and a ratio of 11.7 at private schools.
  • Projections estimate a total of 3,909,000 teachers in the United States by 2029, with 3,390,000 in public schools and 520,000 at private schools, allowing for a student to teacher ratio of 14.5 overall, and 15.1 at public schools and 11.0 at private schools.

Number of Public School Teachers and Instructional Staff by State 2019-2020 (Table)

State Rank for Number of Teachers Number of Teachers Number of Instructional Staff Students Enrolled per Teacher Student- Teacher Ratio Rank
Alabama 25 46,451 53,633 15.6 20
Alaska 49 7,665 8,736 17.3 10
Arizona 17 62,045 67,593 18.3 7
Arkansas 31 31,977 37,062 15.0 28
California 2 293,619* 374,003* 21.0* 2
Colorado 20 57,546 70,462 15.9 17
Connecticut 27 41,689 52,006 12.7 41
Delaware 46 9,868* 11,255* 14.3* 32
District of Columbia 51 7,147* 8,204* 12.6* 44
Florida 4 142,527 195,640 20.0 4
Georgia 8 116,898 137,026 15.1 23
Hawaii 42 11,255 13,080* 16.1 16
Idaho 39 16,939 19,015 18.4 6
Illinois 5 130,389 144,987* 15.0 27
Indiana 16 62,203 72,025 16.9 11
Iowa 29 37,705 43,524 13.7 37
Kansas 30 35,525 40,061 13.9 36
Kentucky 28 39,879 46,180 16.3 13
Louisiana 24 47,938 61,216 15.0 26
Maine 41 14,907 16,961 12.2 45
Maryland 18 62,040 76,550 14.7 30
Massachusetts 14 75,152 87,504 12.6 42
Michigan 12 81,724 96,718 17.7 8
Minnesota 22 53,727 59,713 16.6 12
Mississippi 32 31,601 36,356 14.7 29
Missouri 13 75,466 85,073 11.6 48
Montana 44 10,686 12,383 14.0 34
Nebraska 35 25,324 28,420 13.0 39
Nevada 36 23,867 29,591 20.8 3
New Hampshire 40 16,560 18,518* 10.6 50
New Jersey 7 117,885 146,163 11.7 47
New Mexico 37 20,820 23,321 15.6 19
New York 3 212,777* 235,234* 12.0 46
North Carolina 11 93,923 109,977 15.1 24
North Dakota 45 10,174 11,811 11.1 49
Ohio 9 113,327* 145,053* 15.8 18
Oklahoma 26 43,280* 49,679 16.3 14
Oregon 34 30,096 34,273 19.4 5
Pennsylvania 6 119,963 138,821 14.4 31
Rhode Island 43 10,868 12,209* 13.2* 38
South Carolina 23 51,041* 60,995* 15.4 21
South Dakota 47 9,760 10,696 13.9 35
Tennessee 19 62,018 77,062 16.2 15
Texas 1 363,195 416,892 15.1 25
Utah 33 30,107 35,644 22.7 1
Vermont 48 8,321* 9,638* 10.4 51
Virginia 10 101,787 120,060 12.6 43
Washington 15 63,072 71,343 17.4 9
West Virginia 38 18,697 21,535 14.0 33
Wisconsin 21 55,960 67,048 15.3 22
Wyoming 50 7,283 7,971 12.9 40
Total n/a 3,214,673 3,808,920 15.6 (average) n/a

Source: See References 4, 5, and 7. For illustration purposes only
*Some figures include estimates as reported by NEA

How Many Preschool Teachers are there in the US

The figures for preschool teachers also include kindergarten teachers. They may be employed by childcare centers, public schools, religious centers, and some other organizations.

  • In 2019, there were a total of 845,000 preschool and kindergarten teachers in the United States.
  • Of these, 97.3% were female.
  • The percentage of preschool and kindergarten teachers employed by childcare centers was 66.6%.
  • Elementary and secondary schools employed 30.8% of preschool and kindergarten teachers.
  • Religious organizations employed 1.03% of preschool and kindergarten teachers.

Here is our article on how long it takes to become a teacher.

How Many Elementary School Teachers are there in the US

  • There were 1.8 million public school teachers in the United States in the 2017-2018 school year, including both full-time and part-time teachers.
  • This represented an 11% increase in the number of teachers in the United States since the 1999-2000 school year, when there were 1.6 million elementary school teachers in the United States.

How Many High School Teachers are there in the US

  • During the 2017-2018 school year, United States public high schools employed a total of 1.8 million full-time and part-time teachers.
  • This was a 26% increase in public high school teachers since the 1999-2000 school year, which had 1.4 million teachers.

How Many Private School Teachers are there in the US

  • In the 2018-2019 school year, there were 482,000 teachers in private elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
  • This was approximately the same amount as the year before, 2017.
  • The resulting student to teacher ratio for private schools in 2018 was 11.9 students per private school teacher.
  • Projections estimate that by 2029 there will be 520,000 teachers in private elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
  • This would result in a student to teacher ratio of 11.0 students per teacher.

How Many Public School Teachers are there in the US

  • Overall, in the United States there were 3,214,673 teachers in United States elementary and secondary public school in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • This was a 0.53% increase from the previous year, when there were 3,197,623 teachers in elementary and secondary public schools in the United States.
  • This resulted in an overall student to teacher ratio in public schools of 15.6, which was a 0.63% decrease from the previous year of 15.7 students per teacher.
  • Projections estimate that by 2029, there will be 3,390,000 teachers in United States public elementary and secondary schools, resulting in a student to teacher ratio of 15.1 students per teacher.

Number of Public School Teachers by State

  • In the 2019-2020 school year, the state with the most public school teachers was Texas, with 363,195 teachers.
  • This represented a 1.3% increase in the number of public school teachers for that state.
  • The state with the second highest number of public school teachers in the 2019-2020 school year was California with an estimated 293,619 teachers, which was a 1.7% increase from the previous school year.
  • The state with the least number of public school teachers in 2019-2020 was the District of Columbia, with an estimated 7,147 teachers, a 2.26% decrease from the previous school year.
  • Wyoming was the state with the second to the least number of public school teachers, having 7,283 teachers, which was a 1.18% increase in their number of teachers from the previous school year.
  • Nevada had the greatest increase in their number of public school teachers between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year, with a 8.53% increase in their number of teachers.
  • Nevada went from having 21,992 public school teachers in the 2018-2019 school year to 23,867 in the 2019-2020 school year, an increase of 1,875 teachers.
  • Alaska had the greatest decrease in the number of public school teachers from the 2018-2019 to the 2019-2020 school year, having lost 2.79% of their teachers.
  • Alaska had 7,885 public school teachers in the 2018-2019 school year, but only 7,665 public school teachers in the 2019-2020 school year, a decrease of 220 teachers.
  • These figures translated into Utah having the highest ratio of students to teachers, with 22.7 students enrolled per teacher.
  • California had the second highest ratio of students to teachers, with 21.0 students enrolled per teacher.
  • Vermont had the lowest student to teacher ratio, with only 10.4 students enrolled per teacher.
  • The state with the next to the lowest student to teacher ratio was New Hampshire, with 10.6 students enrolled per teacher.

Number of Public School Instructional Staff by State

Instructional staff at schools includes both full-time teachers as well as staff who participate in teaching students in other capacities such as speech language pathologists, librarians, occupational therapists and many others.

  • The state with the most public school instructional staff in the 2019-2020 school year was Texas, with 416,892 instructional staff.
  • After Texas, California was the state with the second most public school instructional staff, having 374,003 instructional staff.
  • The same year, the state with the least public school instructional staff was Wyoming with only 7,971.
  • The District of Columbia had the second to the least number of public school instructional staff, with only 8,204 during the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The state with the greatest increase in the number of public school instructional staff between the 2018-2019 school year and the 2019-2020 school year was Nevada, with a 9.12% increase, resulting in the addition of 2,472 instructional staff for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Alaska had the greatest decrease in the number of public school instructional staff members between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year, with a 2.51% drop resulting in 225 fewer public school instructional staff members.

References

  1. Statista, Number of Teachers in Elementary and Secondary Schools Since 1955
  2. National Center for Educational Statistics Digest Table 208.20, Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Teachers and Ratios, 1955-2029
  3. NCES Characteristics of Public School Teachers, Annual Report
  4. Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS)
  5. National Education Association Rankings of the States 2020 and Estimates of School Statistics 2021
  6. Data USA Profile of Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers
  7. NEA Specialized Instructional Support Personnel Definition
  8. NCES Teacher Characteristics and Trends
  9. Institute of Education Sciences, First Look, Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States
  10. California Department of Education, Private Schools, CalEdFacts