How Many K12 Students In The US (Statistics For 2023)

The population of K-12 public school students is growing significantly, and the enrollments in the schools are based on race and economic lines.

Among 56.6 million K-12 students, 50.8 million were in Public schools, and around 5.8 million enrolled in private schools in 2019. 

To determine how many K-12 students are in the U.S. according to their enrollment, ethnicities, states, etc., Go through the article below. 

In this article, I have compiled some of the most crucial and interesting statistics related to K-12 students.

Before going through the article, here are a few key findings that you may check out. 

Key Findings:

How Many K12 Students In The US - Overview
  1. 34.0 million students attended pre-kindergarten to Grade 8, where 3.6 million were enrolled in Kindergarten, and 1.4 million were enrolled in prekindergarten. (NCES)
  1. In the fall of 2019, about 53.9 million K-12 students were admitted or enrolled in private and public schools.
  1.  Around 49.5 million students in public schools were enrolled in pre-kindergarten to grade 12 in the fall of 2021. (NCES)
  1. As of 2020, there are around 130,930 K-12 schools in the United States, out of which 13,452 are irregular school districts. (NCES)
  1. 69.4% or 35.1 million K-12 students were enrolled in Public Primary Schools. (
  1. California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Illinois are the top 5 states having the maximum number of K-12 students enrolled in Public Schools. (EDI, 2021)
  1. Around 10.9 million families with children who are in the K-12 grade educational level have an annual income of about $75,000 or above. 
  1. The K-12 students are expected to have a low learning retention rate, such as 2% to 3%, in the year 2023. 
  1. A large number of K-12 students are from grades 6 to 8, as they yield around 32.7%,  i.e., 11.49 million from K-8 grades. 
  1. As per the study, the enrollment of K-8 public schools in the United States is expected to decrease between the year 2023 to 2030. 
  1. The federal share of spending on K-12 students has increased from 5.7% to 8.3% in the past 20 years and is expected to increase over the next few years. (NCES)
  1. Approximately $15,513 were spent per pupil for K-12 education. 

K-12 Students Enrolled In Private Schools

  1. 9% of K-12 students attended private schools, i.e., 4.7 million students enrolled in private schools for the year 2019 to 2020.
  1. An increase in the number of K-12 students was demonstrated from 48.1 million in the fall of 2009 to 49.2 million in the fall of the year 2019. 
  1. Private schools, on average, have 176 students in each school, where 86% are from Grade k to 8, and 14% are from grades 9 to 12. 
  1. According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, among 10.9 million families having children in K-12 grades, only 11% of the students are enrolled in private schools

K-12 Students Enrolled In Public Schools

To determine the number of K-12 students enrolled in public schools for the year 2020, refer to the table provided below. 

Grade Levels. Number Of Students 
K to grade 8.32.8 million.
Kindergarten.3.4 million
Grade 9.15.3 million 
Grade 9 to 12.4 million.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

  1. 3.4 million students were enrolled in Kindergarten, and 15.3 million were enrolled in Grade 9 in 2020.
  1. Around $13,489 were spent per student in public elementary and secondary school in the year 2019- 2020. 
  1. A total amount of $682 billion was spent in public elementary and secondary schools for the years 2019 and 2020.

Number Of K-12 Students Enrolled By Race/Ethnicity

To find out the number of K-12 students according to their race or ethnicity, go through the data provided below. 

K-12 Students Enrolled

K-12 Students Enrolled In Private Schools According To Race

The below table represents the percentage of K-12 students enrolled in private schools according to race or ethnicity. 

Ethnicities Percentage Of Students
White 12%
Pacific Islander 15%
American Indian/ Alaska Native 5%
Two or more races10%

Source: NCES. 

  1. Among the total number of K-12 students in private schools, 12% of the students were White, whereas 15% of the students were Pacific Islanders

Number Of K-12 Students In Public schools As Per Ethnicity

Given below are the percentage of K-12 students enrolled in public institutions according to their race in different States of the United States. 

Characteristics White Black HispanicAsian Pacific IslanderAmerican Indian/ Alaska NativeTwo Or More Races.
Average 45.8%15%28%5.4%0.4%0.9%4.5%
Alabama 53.2%32.2%9.4%1.5%0.1%0.9%2.7% 
Alaska 47%2.5%7.3%5.4%3%22%12.8%
Colorado52.5%4.6%34.2% 3.2%0.3%0.7%4.6%
Connecticut 49.9%12.7%27.8%5.2%0.1%0.3%4%
Delaware 42.3%30%18.3%4.3%0.1%0.4%4.6%
District of Columbia 12.9%65.6%16.9%1.5%0.1%0.2%2.9%

Source: Statista

  1. In Arizona, around 37.1% of students enrolled in K-12 public schools were white, while 45.4% were Hispanics. 

Numbers Of K-12 Students As Per Different States

  1. An increase in enrollment in K-12 public schools between the years 2000 to 2016 in 32 states has been demonstrated. 

The number of K-12 students varies according to the state. To determine the number of K-12 students in different States of the U.S., go through the below data.

StatesNumber Of Students 
California6.86 million
Texas5.84 million 
Florida3.38 million 
New York3.17 million 
Illinois2.24 million


  1.  California is the State having the maximum enrollment of K-12 students, which is around 6.86 million students.

Percentage Of K-12 Students Who Were Engish Language Learners By Grade Level 

The following table represents the percentage of K-12 students who were English Language Learners as per the different grade levels. 

Grade LevelsPercentage Of Students 
Grade 115.7%
Grade 215.3%
Grade 314.2%
Grade 413.1%
Grade 511.0%
Grade 68.9%
Grade 78.0%
Grade 87.4%
Grade 97.3%
Grade 106.5%
Grade 116.0%
Grade 125.1%

Source: ThinkImpact

Number Of K-12 students Using Digital Learning Tools

Digitalization has led to the use of technology at the forefront. Technology or digital tools are used in all sectors. 

The use of technology in the educational sector has increased tremendously since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

K-12 students Using Digital Learning

To determine the percentage of K-12 students in the United States using digital learning tools by the level of schools, refer to the table provided below. 

School Level Percentage Of Students 
All Students 57%
Elementary School Students 45%
Middle School Students 64%
High School Students 63%

Source: Statista. 

Public K-12 Spending Per Pupil

Below is the expenditure per pupil in the United States enrolled in preschool programs for 2019. 

Public K-12 Spending Per Pupil.
School LevelSpending Per Child 
Head starts $10,955

Source: Statista. 

To learn more about the yearly spending on K-12 students, check out the data provided below. 

Year Spending Per Child

Source: Education Data Initiative

  1. Per pupil spending for the year 2018-19 was demonstrated to be $13,187, while in the year 2017, it was around $12,654. 

Related Read:

Conclusion: How Many K12 Students In The US (2023)

Around 2.7 million K-12 students all around the United States use digital technology for learning. 

There are around 88,909 prekindergartens, elementary and middle schools with a large number of students enrolled in them.

As it can be demonstrated that a significant number of K-12 students are enrolled in public schools, thus public school system continues to provide accessible and affordable learning options to the students. 

That’s all about How many K-12 students are in the U.S. Read the article and let us know your views on them in the comments section below. 

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