How Many Schools Are in the US (Statistics 2024)


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Report Highlights
  • The United States has an average of 98,755 public schools, 13,477 middle schools, 2,500 Junior high schools, 23900 Secondary Schools.
  • 8/10 popular colleges are located in California. Pennsylvania and New York are the remaining locations of the two other schools.
  • California had the highest percentage of English Language learners in public schools (19.4%). Runners up was Texas (18.7%), which was closely followed by New Mexico (15.8%).

number of schools in the US

How Many Schools are in the US?

There are 98,755 public schools, 13,477 middle schools, 2,500 Junior high schools, 23900 Secondary Schools in the US. These statistics come from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Compared to 1980, there were around 30% more schools available in 2018.

The Number of Students in the U.S.

  • According to the annual survey statistics from 1,219 ranked schools, a total of 10 colleges received the most applications in 2019. The average was 85,653, which is 50%.
  • Only nine out of the 10 schools that received the most applications in 2019 are National Universities. These schools offer a wide range of college masters and degrees.

Number of People who Applied to Join Universities

  • University of California -Los Angeles had 111,322 applicants, University of California- San Diego had 99,133 applicants, New -York University had 79,462 applicants, San Diego State University had 69,842 applicants, University of California, Berkeley had 87,398, and Pennsylvania State University-University Park had 71,903 applicants.

Percentage of ELL public-school students

ELL stands for English language learners.

  • In 2019, the percentage of students in a US public school who were ELLs was higher compared to 2018.
  • The percentage of public school students in West Virginia was in the range of 0.8 percent towards the end of 2018. This increased to 10.2 percent in 2019
  • The states with the highest percentage of ELLs public-school students was 10.0% in 2019 were Alaska, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida, Colorado, Washington, California, Texas, and New Mexico.
  • Another 23 states had other percentages of English Language learners from 6.0 to 10.0 percent.
  • The biggest positive percentage took place in Massachusetts; this was 4.7%. In contrast, the biggest negative percentage point change occurred in Nevada , which was 5.7%.
14.9 9.8 6.9 4.2

Towards the end of 2018, the percentage of English Language Learners’ students was higher in schools at the district level and more urbanized locales in comparison to people who are less urbanized.

The percentage of students who were English Language Learners covered 14.9% of the cities’ public school enrollments, 4.2% in the rural areas, 6.9% in the towns, and 9.8% in the suburban area. In addition, the percentage and number English language learner students’ distribution in public schools were as follows:

Race/Ethnicity Number Percentage Distribution
Spanish 3,777,926 75.2%
Arabic 135,870 2.7 %
Chinese 102,834 2.0
English 99,521 2.0%
Vietnamese 76,517 1.5%
Somali 40,115 1.5%
Russian 38,227 0.8%
Portuguese 37,535 0.7%
Haitian, Haitian Creole 32,833 0.7%
Hmong 31,335 0.6%
  • By the end of fall 2018, Spanish was the leading country with a total of 3.8 million English Language Learner students from public schools. Chinese and Arabic were reported to be the most common home languages (the languages were spoken by 102,800 and 135,900 students, respectively).
  • With around 99,500 students, English took the fourth position as the most common home language that was preferred by ELL students. This reflects students who come from homes where people don’t speak English very often.
  • Vietnamese has a total of (76,500 students), followed by Somali with a total of (40,100 students), then Russian students with a total of (38,200 students), there are 37,500 students from Portugal, then students from Haiti with a total of (32,800 students), and 31,300 students who are Hmong people were among the top reported languages of the English Language Learners in 2018.

All Institutions Elementary & Secondary School

The data below, according to Digest of Education Statistics, shows the total number of students in each educational level.

Private Schools 32,361
Elementary 20,090
Secondary 2,845
Combined 9,526

Post-Secondary Title IV institutions

Public 1.955
Private 4,547
Non-Profit 1,826
For-Profit 2,721

4 Year Colleges

Public 750
Private 2,078
Non-Profit 1,590
For profit 488

The Number of Educational Institutions in the U.S. by Level and Control of Institution

Post-Secondary Title IV Institutions 2017-2018
Public 1955
Private 4547
Non-Profit 1,826
For Profit 2,721
Title IV non degree generating institutions 2,189
Public 329
Private 1,860
Non-Profit 137
For-Profit 1,723
Title IV degree generating Institutions 4,313
2-year colleges 1,485
Public 876
Private 609
Non-Profit 99
For-Profit 510
4-Year colleges 2,828
Public 750
Private 2,078
Non-Profit 1,590
For-Profit 488

College Schools In The United States With Their Total Student Population

According to The Digest of Statistics, they revealed some interesting facts about the student population in some of the Universities in the United States. Below is a table indicating the findings of the research.

University Student Population
University of California- Los Angeles 111,322
University of California-San Diego 99,133
New-York University 79,462
San Diego State University 69,842
University of California -Berkely 87,398
Pennsylvania State University-University Park 71,903
California State University, Long Beach 71,297
University of California-Irvine 95,568

Total Number of Public elementary and Secondary schools’ enrollment

Total Enrollment for 2019 Race Percentage Distribution
CITY 3,573 White –




American Indian






SUB-URBAN 5,495 White




American Indian






TOWN 9,683 White




American Indian






Find out more about what post-secondary education is.

Number of US Charter Schools

Charter schools are tuition-free schools of choice funded by the public. Research revealed that charter schools have grown into a national movement that spans 44 states including the district of Columbia. According to federal figures, there are around 3,290,149 charter schools.

In exchange for exemptions from most of the state laws, charters are bound to a contract term. It lays out the school mission, academic goals, and other essential guidelines. According to Digest of Education Statistics, this data shows the enrollment in Charter Schools in some of the major states.

Alabama 598
Alaska 6,778
Arizona 207,537
California 652,825
Colorado 124,562
Connecticut 10,433
Delaware 16,086
District of Columbia 39,085
Florida 313,557
Georgia 65,740
Hawaii 11,565
Idaho 23,359
Illinois 64,795
Indiana 49,813
United States Total 3,290,149

The research conducted by Digest of Education Statistics pointed out that:

  • There are 3,290,149 students in charter schools for ELLs in the United States.
  • The leading state with the highest number of students in charter schools is California with 652,825, then followed by Florida with 313,557 students. The next state on this list is Arizona with a total of 207,537 students in charter schools.
  • Colorado has a total of 124,563 students in charter schools, which is followed by Georgia with 65,740 students. Georgia is then closely followed by Illinois with 64,795 students in charter schools.
  • The last states with a high number of charter school students are Indiana and the District of Columbia with 49,813 and 39,085 respectively.
  • Key Findings on the research that was conducted about charter schools.
  • Charter schools are academically beneficial for students who enroll in them.
  • In a review of fifteen randomized charter schools and their effects on academics, twelve showed significant benefits in math, and 3 of them showed no effects. However, none of them showed negative effects.
  • A study of 41 urban areas revealed that charter schools are important as they provide students from Afrcan descent who are poor with benefits such as an extra 59 days of learning every year.
  • Studies conducted in three states have shown that students who attend charter high schools have a boosted college entry.
  • Studies conducted in 2 districts have revealed that attending charter schools helps reduce criminal activities.

While traditional school districts often get less funding compared to English Language Learner students who receive education from charter schools, charter schools are known to have a positive effect academically for students who attend the traditional public schools.

  • According to studies that were conducted in a total of 5 states, the competition from charter schools is beneficial to English Language Learner students attending traditional public schools.
  • Charter schools promote community development and promotion of inclusion
  • They have a customized curriculum
  • They are flexible and provide children with the freedom that is not available in public schools.

The Percentage of Charter Schools in public schools

State % Of Total Public Schools in the U.S.
Alabama 0.1 %
Alaska 5.5%
Arizona 23.8%
Arkansas 7.9
California 13.0
Colorado 13.3%
Connecticut 2.3
Delaware 10.2
District of Columbia 50.0
Florida 15.7
Georgia 3.7
Hawaii 12.3
Idaho 8.4
Illinois 3.3
Indiana 3.3
Lowe 0.2
Kansas 0.7
Kentucky 0.0
Louisiana 11.4
Maryland 3.5
Massachusetts 4.4
Michigan 10.1
Minnesota 9.2
Mississippi 0.5

Benefits of Studying in Schools in the United States

The United States is one of the world’s most ideal learning centers, even for international students. Between 2019 and 2010, statistics revealed that over 1.1 million students moved to the United States to study.

There are many reasons why international students move to study in the U.S. Every university has a unique thing that they offer. Below are some of the top reasons why international students chose to pursue education in the U.S.

  • Helps Boost employment prospects after graduation
  • It is a great place to satisfy your passion for traveling
  • Adds international experience to your resume
  • Helps you create a strong support network with other international students
  • Helps you improve your English skills as you interact with friends from around the world

In addition, according to the Digest of Education Statistics, it is evident that schools in the United States help learners to:

  • Explore vast academic opportunities
  • Improve your career opportunities
  • Boosts Academic excellence; With some of the finest universities, the U.S. is known around the world for the best academic standards
  • American universities and learning institutions have several programs to choose from. In short, it helps international students to get accustomed to a new kind of lifestyle
  • Explore cultural diversity. There are learners from communities all over the world that you will be learning with.

Percentage of Students

There is a higher percentage of students in public schools especially in lower grades compared to the students in upper grades who were English Language Learner students in fall 2018.

Among 12th-graders, only 5.1 percent of students were found to be English Language Learners.

Not forgetting that there are special schools for children with disabilities

In 2019, the number of students whose age ranges from 3 to 21 who got special education under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was 14% (7.3 million) of all the students who attend public school.

The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) that was enacted in 1975, mandates the provision of public-school education for students who have qualified between the ages of 3 and 21. Students who are eligible identified by professionals to have the following:

  • A disability that affects their academic performance adversely.
  • The number of students who are aged between 3 and 21 who benefited from the special education services was 7.3 million, which increased by 800,000

Percentage distribution of students aged between 3 and 21 served under the IDEA by disability type: This is specifically for the 2019–20 school year

Disability Type Percentage distribution of students
Specific Learning disability 33%
Speech or language impairment 19%
Other health impairment 15%
Autism 11%
Developmental delay 7%
Emotional disturbance 5%
Multiple disabilities 2%
Hearing impairment 1%
Orthopedic impairment 1%
Intellectual disability 6%

Percentage of public school students who were English language learners by grade level

School Level Percentage of population
Kindergarten 15.1%
Grade 1 15.7%
Grade 2 15.3%
Grade 3 14.2%
Grade 4 13.1%
Grade 5 11.0%
Grade 6 8.9%
Grade 7 8.0%
Grade 8 7.4%
Grade 9 7.3%
Grade 10 6.5%
Grade 11 6.0%
Grade 12 5.1%
Ungraded 7.5%

According to U.S. News, this is the data from a survey carried out in over 1,800 colleges and universities for the survey of undergraduate programs. This data is meant to provide students and their parents the information they need to excel and have room for growth in terms of academics.

According to U.S News, the United States has ranked top with the best colleges and best graduate schools.

Private Schools in the United States

The statistics provided below show the characteristics of students enrolled in the nation’s schools in October 2018. This is according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Approximately 10.9 million families with children at educational level grades K-12 have annual incomes of approximately $75,000 or more.
  • 87 percent of the families have children only who attend public schools and only 11 percent have children who go to private schools (Average Private School Tuition Statistics).
  • On average, private schools were fewer in number compared to public schools.
  • Private schools had an average of 166 students and the average public school had an average of 526 students.

Facts You Should Know About Private Schools

Unlike public or government schools, private organizations run private schools. They have different curricular standards since they don’t receive funds from the government, and they don’t take part in running the school.

  • The U.S had more than 33,600 private schools in 2013.
  • These schools enrolled over 5 million students, which is about 10.04% of the total school-age population in the country.
  • The percentage of the enrolled school-age population in Washington’s schools was almost 27.87%.
  • In Wyoming, 2.81% of the whole school-age population was apparently enrolled at private schools.

Private schools, total enrollment, and data by state

State No of Private Schools Total Enrollment The Percentage of the Total School-Age Population
Alabama 400 76,400 9.39%
Alaska 50 5,080 3.82%
Arizona 340 55,070 4.65%
Arkansas 190 30,340 5.87%
California 3,390 596,160 8.94%
Florida 2,140 372,790 12.61%
District of Columbia 90 19,790 27.87%
Delaware 120 23,640 16.08%
Connecticut 400 72,770 12.25%
Florida 2,140 372,790 12.61%
Georgia 740 150,360 8.25%
Hawaii 130 33,820 15.59%
Idaho 200 18,580 5.92%
Illinois 1,550 281,360 12.66%
Indiana 870 121,230 10.41%
Kansas 360 41,520 7.94%
Kentucky 470 74,750 10.12%
Louisiana 420 129,720 16.11%
Maine 190 18,380 9.33%
Maryland 770 143,530 14.66%
Massachusetts 800 134,560 13.04%
Michigan 780 141,590 8.46%
Minnesota 500 85,260 9.15%
Mississippi 310 50,330 9.34%
Missouri 139,570 13.67%
Montana 140 10,560 6.48%
Nebraska 220 42,300 12.66%
Nevada 140 21,980 4.56%
New Hampshire 280 26,700 12.96%
New Jersey 1,270 211,150 14.17%
Oklahoma 170 32,740 4.79%
Pennsylvania 2,320 253,800 12.68%
Rhode Island 130 22,180 13.86%
Vermont 110 8,890 9.56%
South Carolina 430 65,350 8.30%
South Dakota 70 9,950 6.72%
Tennessee 560 93,990 8.62%
Texas 1,740 312,640 6.13%
Utah 160 23,310 3.63%
Virginia 910 131,330 9.69%
Washington 800 119,730 10.41%
West Virginia 130 14,350 5.14%
Wisconsin 900 160,650 16.66%
Wyoming 40 2,780 2.81%
United States totals 33,620 5,395,740 10.04%


Reasons why you should study in the U.S:

College is a pathway that leads to building a successful career. When thinking about which college is suitable, many probably prefer studying in the U.S.

Before you choose a college, ask yourself these question:

  • Should I choose to attend a public or private university?
  • Is a private university worthwhile when it comes to the additional cost
  • What are the advantages of seeking a college degree in the US when building a career?



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