Gallup: Parent Income, Degree, Religion Key Factors in School Choices

Screen Shot 2017 08 28 at 18 38 26


  • 85% of U.S. parents send their child to public school
  • Regular churchgoers, upper-income, postgrads least likely to do so
  • Lower-income, nonreligious most likely to have a child in public school

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eighty-five percent of U.S. parents of school-aged children have a child in public school, while 9% send their child to private school, 3% send theirs to parochial school and 3% home-school. Regular churchgoers, those with postgraduate education and upper-income adults are the least likely subgroups of parents to send their child to public school, while lower-income and nonreligious parents are the most likely.

These results are based on aggregated data from Gallup’s Work and Education poll, conducted annually since 2001. As part of the survey, Gallup asks parents of K-12 students whether their oldest child attends public, private or parochial school or is home-schooled. The aggregated 2001-2017 data include responses from more than 4,500 K-12 parents.

Overall, the results show that the vast majority of parents, regardless of demographics, send their child to public school. But the type of school that parents send their child to does vary by religion, income and educational attainment.

The relationship between household income and school choice is obvious. Upper-income parents have the financial means to pay private school tuition, and lower-income parents do not.

Which is why we need to get the state out of education. Let the money follow the child. The parents can chose whatever education is best for each child. 

Via Gallup