Private Schools K-12 Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Private Schools K-12 Industry Profile

Institutions in this industry provide primary and secondary classroom education not associated with public school systems. No major companies dominate the industry.

Globally, the number of private schools in each country varies widely. Finland, for example, has very few private schools, while such institutions are commonplace in India. Private school enrollment rates are rising in developing countries as low-cost institutions expand in major cities, especially in Africa and South Asia. Worldwide, about a quarter of all secondary school students are enrolled in private schools, according to the World Bank.

The US has about 35,000 private primary and secondary schools with a total enrollment of about 5.8 million students. About two-thirds of US private schools are affiliated with religious organizations. While most private schools are tax-exempt, nonprofit entities, some operate on a for-profit basis.


Demand is driven by perceived inadequacies in the public school system as well as the desire for a specific curriculum or school culture. The success of an individual school depends largely on its reputation for quality. Large schools can offer a wider range of instruction and have some economies of scale. Small schools can be successful by providing instruction in a special field.

Private schools compete for students with public school systems and with homeschooling.


According to Education Data, there were about 57 million students that attended elementary and secondary high school in the US in 2019, with ...

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