The new National Center for Education Statistics' study is out. There are an estimated 1.77 million homeschoolers in 2011, up from 1.5 million in 2007. This represents 3.4% of the school-age children in America. The number of white children dropped from 77% to 68% while the number of African Americans, Hispanics and other groups increased.
The center's National Household Education Survey includes questions about homeschooling every four years. 2011 was the last year this study was accomplished and the data was compiled from 17,563 respondents. It is the most comprehensive and best representative sample to date according to one professional review by a member of the International Center for Home Education (ICHER).
The study of homeschooling excluded "students who were enrolled in public or private school more than 25 hours per week." Thus students who attended school upwards of 25 hours in a week while schooling at home were considered homeschooled.
39% of homeschooling parents had a four-year degree or higher. About half of the children homeschooled were girls. 20% lived in the federally defined poverty status.
There were specific questions about parental motivation. 64% of children were homeschooled for religious reasons by parents who considered it an "important" motive. While 16% were homeschooled for religious reasons by parents who considered it a "most important" reason.
74% of the children were homeschooled because of dissatisfaction with academics in the schools. Academics and school environment were the "most important" motivation for parents homeschooling 44% of the children.
Some analysis of these latest homeschooling numbers can be found at the ICHER's review blog, by Mr. Gaither of Messiah College.