How Many Students are in Average Public School?


Public school are government-funded schools that admit many students all across the world. This means that, unlike private schools, there is no tuition fee charged from the parents for the education of the children. These schools provide classes ranging from Kindergarten level to Grade 12. Afterward, students can choose to apply to colleges/universities all over the globe. In the USA, there are above 130,000 public schools. The schools have a large number of students and are present in cities, suburbs, towns, and rural areas. According to the NCES data from 2017-2018, the break-down is as follows:

How Many Students are in Average Public School?
  • Elementary schools: 87498
  • Secondary Schools: 26727
  • Combined schools: 15804
  • Other schools: 901

How Many Students Are Enrolled In Public School?

The average public school in the USA accommodates 527 students as of 2018. This data was provided by a survey conducted by NCES in 2018. Public schools are important educational bodies since the fee structures for private schools have always been skyrocketing and for an average US citizen, affordability is a major hindrance.

Are Public Schools As Good As Private Schools?

 It is a no-brainer that private schools do provide a higher quality of education along with the extra-curricular activities for the students, but the public school have also managed to touch new highs by providing good education and great equipment ,extra-curricular activities for students. One example is the Thomas Jefferson High school For Science And Technology, which has great activities for the students such as international clubs for mathematics, science, and technology.

Are Public Schools As Big As Private Schools?

Moving on, the public school are usually smaller in size but have a greater number of students as compared to the private schools. By conducting thorough research, it was found that the pupil count varies from area to area. In layman’s terms, City and suburban areas have shown a greater number of students as compared to schools located in small towns or rural areas. According to NCES, in 2018, it was found that average public schools 

  • In city or suburban areas have students ranging from 585-656 students.
  • Rural areas and towns have 364-443 students on average

 This data clarifies that while the suburban areas and cities do have more private school options, a large number of US citizens still opt for public schools since they are funded by the government. The public schools have a large number of students. 

According to a 2022 survey by NCES, over 50 million students will attend public schools in 2022. The states spend quite a lot of money on each student and the average cost comes out to just above $13000 per student. This number does vary from state to state since different states have different budgets allocated for education. 

Why Are Public Schools The Better Choice?

The data above mentioned provides that public schools gather a large number of students in the USA. Public schools have a number of their own benefits which outweigh the relaxed and diverse atmosphere provided by the private schools. One example of this is that public schools employ the best teachers. It is a standard requirement that a public-school teacher must have at least one bachelor’s degree. However, in private schools, there is no such requirement and many schools employ under-qualified teachers. Secondly, a plethora of services are available for the students to take advantage of in public schools such as classes for a number of different subjects, language classes, art courses, and much more. This helps polish the students’ skills and enables them to find their talent while gaining knowledge.

Facilities Provided By Public Schools:

 The public schools also offer sports activities such as football, hockey, swimming etcetera which help the students to engage in physical fitness activities, and eventually, they may excel in these areas which would later prove to be very helpful in getting college acceptances with scholarships. 

Major Differences Between Public and Private Schools: 

Furthermore, public schools are diverse. This means that a student grows in an atmosphere with a number of other people who come from different backgrounds, such as: 

  • Ethnical
  • Religious
  • Racial

This diversity increases the student’s knowledge of how to communicate with different people in a society. The world is a global village and the students need to engage with other students coming from various cultures to gain an in-depth knowledge of how to live in a society together.

 The main aim of schools is to turn the student into a respectable member of the community and a good human being with knowledge. The commitment to students is also greater in public schools since the teachers are well educated and come from similar backgrounds as the students, the teachers understand the youngster’s mindsets. The public schools take great responsibility for the young student to shape them into respectable community members and successful people in the future. Public schools also have more PTA’s where the parents and teachers meet face-to-face to discuss the progress of students and to hear the concerns of parents. Since the tax-paying citizens are funding the public schools, the voice of parents is given more importance. Lastly, public schools offer more amenities to the students such as free buses for schools. This means that the parents have one less expense to worry about all the while their children are getting a great education.


In summation, public schools have advanced considerably in the recent past, and given the economical situation today, an average American cannot afford the luxuries of private schools. Well, nothing to worry about anymore. The public schools have now transformed into excellent educational institutes and the data above mentioned confirms that more Americans are opting for public schools.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which areas are more preferred by the students? The city, suburbs, or rural?

Ans: According to the NCES data of 2018, 36.9% of students attend suburban public schools whereas the city and rural schools have 30.3% and 19.2% of students respectively.

How many students attend public schools?

Ans: Based on the federal projections, over 50.7 million students enrolled in public schools for the fall session of 2022.

What is the average ratio of students to teachers in public schools?

Ans:  on average, each teacher is assigned 16 students. This may vary from state to state.