The Data Is In And Homeschooling Numbers Have Skyrocketed Since The Pandemic Began

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau found that the rate of homeschooling doubled from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to the beginning of this school year.

The Census Bureaus’ Household Pulse Survey found that in the spring of 2020, only 5.4% of U.S households were homeschooling their school-aged children. By fall of 2020, that figure increased to 11%, the survey showed. In the years prior to the pandemic, homeschooling rates hovered just above 3%, the Census Bureau said.

The Census Bureau clarified that their questioning made the difference between virtual at-home learning and traditional homeschooling clear, according to the Associated Press.

The rate of homeschooling differed greatly by state. The rate of households electing to homeschool their children rose the most in Alaska, from 9.6% to 27.5%, the survey showed. Florida and Vermont placed second and third with regards to increased homeschooling rates, respectively increasing from 5% to 18.1% and 4.1% to 16.9%, according to the Census Bureau report. (RELATED: Enemies Of Homeschooling Are Scared. Here’s Why)

Previously, Massachusetts had one of the lowest rates of homeschooling in the country, with only 1.5% of households homeschooling their children in the spring of 2020, the survey said. But, that figure increased to 12.1% by the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, according to the report.

The Census Bureau found that COVID-19 infection rates, as well as the kind of learning offered by local schools, were a driver in parents’ decision to homeschool their children. “It’s clear that in an unprecedented environment, families are seeking solutions that will reliably meet their health and safety needs, their childcare needs and the learning and socio-emotional needs of their children,” the Census Bureau report read.

Beyond region or state, race also ended up being a contributing factor in the decision to homeschool as well, the report noted.

Among black households, homeschooling increased from 3.3% to 16.1% in the span of less than a year, the survey found. The rate of Hispanics homeschooling their children nearly doubled from 6.2% to 12.1%. Asian and white households also saw increases, from 4.9% to 8.8%, and 5.7% to 9.7%, respectively, according to the survey.

A recent national survey performed by President Joe Biden’s administration found that the rate of in-person learning also varied by race and region. Although nearly half of the elementary schools in the U.S. were open for full-time in-person learning as of February, the Biden administration’s survey found most nonwhite students were still completely online.