© Shutterstock

Here are the average classroom sizes for all 50 states

Mack DeGeurin

Aug 21, 2019

More students are graduating from high school in the United States than ever before.

Increased student enrollment and lackluster public school funding have led to overcrowding in classrooms across the country.

INSIDER looked at National Center for Education Statistics data to find the average class sizes for elementary and high schools in every state.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

More students are graduating from high school than ever before. Just last year, 84.6% of the US national graduation class walked away from high school with a diploma. Along with these increased graduation rates, schools around the country are also witnessing an increase in general enrollment. And while that’s generally a positive development it does have one unintended consequence: overcrowded classrooms.

Overcrowding in schools has become such a concern that some states have taken legislative measures to cap the number of students in a given classroom. In 2002, for example, Florida made an amendment to its state constitution setting a clear limit on students per class: 22 students for elementary schools and 25 for high schools.

INSIDER used data from the National Center for Education Statistics on classroom sizes around the country to see how the states stack up against each other. To put those classrooms in context, INSIDER also looked at data on how much each state spends on child education, their overall student to teacher ratios, and the average high school graduation rates.

Continue scrolling below to find out the average class sizes for elementary schools and high school in all 50 states. All class sizes listed reflect 2012 statistics unless otherwise noted.

© Shutterstock

1. Alabama

Alabama averaged 19.2 students per elementary class and 27.4 students per high school class.

2018 state population: 4.89 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,236
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.3%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

 

2. Alaska

In Alaska, there were 18.3 kids per class in elementary school and 18.7 students per class in high school.

2018 state population: 740,000
State spending per student in 2016: $17,510
Average graduation rate in 2017: 78.2%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


3. Arizona

An average Arizona elementary school averaged 24.1 kids per class, while an average high school class had 27.7 students.

2018 state population: 7.17 million
State spending per student in 2016: $7,613
Average graduation rate in 2017: 78%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

4. Arkansas

Arkansas averaged 20.4 kids per elementary school classroom. The average for high school classrooms was even higher, at 25.4 students per room.

2018 state population: 3.01 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,846
Average graduation rate in 2017: 88%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


5. California

California had an average elementary class size of 25 kids per room and an average high school class size of 35 students per room.

2018 state population: 39.56 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,495
Average graduation rate in 2017: 82.7%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


6. Colorado

Colorado averaged 22.8 kids per elementary school class and 29.1 students in high school classes.

2018 state population: 5.7 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,575
Average graduation rate in 2017: 79.1%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


7. Connecticut

The average Connecticut elementary classroom had 19.6 children in it. The average high school class size was 22 students per room.

2018 state population: 3.57 million
State spending per student in 2016: $18,958
Average graduation rate in 2017: 87.9%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


8. Delaware

Delaware’s average elementary class size was 20.3 students per room. The high school class size was 25.8.

2018 state population: 970,000
State spending per student in 2016: $14,713
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86.9%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


9. Florida

Florida lacks data on average class sizes, but overcrowded schools have historically been such an issue that legislators passed an amendment to the Florida constitution limiting elementary class sizes to 22 students. The amendment also limits high school classrooms to 25 students.

2018 state population: 21.3 million
State spending per student in 2016: $8,920
Average graduation rate in 2017: 82.3%

Sources: Florida Department of EducationNational Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


10. Georgia

The average Georgia elementary classroom had 21 kids in it. The average high school classroom was slightly more crowded, with 27.5 students per room.

2018 state population: 10.52 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,769
Average graduation rate in 2017: 80.6%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© iStock

11. Hawaii

Hawaii does not have clear data on its school class sizes but a 2016 state Department of Education recommendation suggested an “optimum class size” would be 20 students for kindergarten through third grade and 26 students for fourth to 12th grade.

2018 state population: 1.42 million
State spending per student in 2016: $13,748
Average graduation rate in 2017: 82.7

Sources: Hawaii.govNational Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


12. Illinois

Illinois had an average elementary class size of 22.9 students and an average high school class size of 27.9 students.

2018 state population: 12.74
State spending per student in 2016: $14,180
Average graduation rate in 2017: 87%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


13. Idaho

In 2012, Idaho had an average elementary class size of 24.5 students and an average high school class size of 25.4 students.

2018 state population: 1.75 million
State spending per student in 2016: $7,157
Average graduation rate in 2017: 79.7

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


14. Indiana

Indiana had an average elementary class size of 21.4 students and an average high school class size of 27.3 students.

2018 state population: 6.69 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,856
Average graduation rate in 2017: 83.8

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


15. Iowa

Iowa had an average of 20.3 students per elementary school class and 27.4 students per high school class.

2018 state population: 3.16 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,150
Average graduation rate in 2017: 91.%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© KSwinicki/Shutterstock

16. Kansas

Kansas’s average elementary school was made up of 20.4 kids and the average high school was slightly higher, at 24.6 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 2.91 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,960
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86.5%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


17. Kentucky

The average Kentucky elementary school had 23.3 kids and the average high school classroom had 26.6 students.

2018 state population: 4.47 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,863
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.7%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


18. Louisiana

Louisiana elementary schools averaged 19 kids per classroom and its high schools averaged 23.4 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 4.66 million
State spending per student in 2016: $50,000
Average graduation rate in 2017: 78.1%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


19. Maine

The average Maine elementary school classroom had 17.6 kids and high schools averaged 19.9 students.

2018 state population: 1.34 million
State spending per student in 2016: $13,278
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86.9%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


20. Maryland

A report conducted by the Maryland Department of Education in 2016 determined there were 21.34 students per classroom in elementary schools and 18.75 students per classroom in high schools.

2018 state population: 6.04 million
State spending per student in 2016: $14,206
Average graduation rate in 2017: 87.7%

Sources: Maryland Department of EducationNational Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© Shutterstock

21. Massachusetts

The average Massachusetts elementary school had 19.9 students per classroom while the average high school had 24.5 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 6.9 million
State spending per student in 2016: $15,593
Average graduation rate in 2017: 88.3%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


22. Michigan

Michigan had an average elementary class size of 22.8 students and an average high school class size of 29.9 students.

2018 state population: 9.99 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,668
Average graduation rate in 2017: 80.2%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


23. Minnesota

Minnesota had an average elementary school class size of 22.8 students while high schools averaged 29.9 students per class.

2018 state population: 5.61 million
State spending per student in 2016: $12,382
Average graduation rate in 2017: 82.7%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


24. Mississippi

Mississippi averaged 21.6 students per elementary school classroom and 22.8 students per high school classroom.

2018 state population: 2.99 million
State spending per student in 2016: $8,702
Average graduation rate in 2017: 83%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


25. Missouri

Missouri had an average elementary class size of 20.2 students and an average high school classroom size of 26.8 students.

2018 state population: 6.13 million
State spending per student in 2016: $10,313
Average graduation rate in 2017: 88.3%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

26. Montana

Montana averaged 18.9 students per class in elementary schools and 21.7 students per class in high schools both of which were comparatively low to other states.

2018 state population: 1.06 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,348
Average graduation rate in 2017: 85.8%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


27. Nebraska

Nebraska elementary schools averaged 19.9 students per class while high school class sizes were similarly small at 21.7 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 1.93 million
State spending per student in 2016: $12,299
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.1%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


28. Nevada

Nevada averaged 25. 3 students per elementary school and 34.5 students per high school classroom.

2018 state population: 3.03 million
State spending per student in 2016: $8,960
Average graduation rate in 2017: 80.9%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


29. New Hampshire

New Hampshire has some of the smallest class sizes in the country. The state averaged 20.4 students per classroom in elementary schools and 21.7 students per classroom in high schools.

2018 state population: 1.36 million
State spending per student in 2016: $15,340
Average graduation rate in 2017: 88.9%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


30. New Mexico

The average New Mexico elementary classroom had 19.8 kids in it. The average high schools were slightly more crowded, with 23.7 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 2.1 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,693
Average graduation rate in 2017: 71.1%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© f11photo/Shutterstock

31. New Jersey

The average New Jersey elementary school class size was 18.5 students while the average high school had 23.9 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 8.91 million
State spending per student in 2016: $18,402
Average graduation rate in 2017: 90.5%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


32. New York

The average New York elementary school had 20.7 students per classroom and the average high school had 25.1 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 19.54 million
State spending per student in 2016: $22,366
Average graduation rate in 2017: 81.8%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


33. North Carolina

The average North Carolina elementary school had 18.8 students per classroom and the average high school had 25.8 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 10.38 million
State spending per student in 2016: $8,792
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86.6%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


34. North Dakota

North Dakota’s elementary schools averaged 17.8 students per classroom and its high schools averaged 19.2 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 760,000
State spending per student in 2016: $13,373
Average graduation rate in 2017: 87.2%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© Kenneth Sponsler/Shutterstock

35. Ohio

Ohio elementary schools averaged 21.3 students per classroom and the average high school had 26.7 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 11.69 million
State spending per student in 2016: $12,102
Average graduation rate in 2017: 84.2%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


36. Oklahoma

The average Oklahoma elementary school had 20.7 students per classroom and the average high school had 23.7 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 3.94 million
State spending per student in 2016: $8,097
Average graduation rate in 2017: 82.6%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


37. Oregon

Oregon’s elementary school classes averaged 26.4 students while its high schools averaged 30 students per class.

2018 state population: 4.19 million
State spending per student in 2016: $10,842
Average graduation rate in 2017: 76.7%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


38. Pennsylvania

The average Pennsylvania elementary school had 22.4 students per classroom while the average high school had 25.2 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 12.81 million
State spending per student in 2016: $15,418
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86.6%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


39. Rhode Island

Rhode Island does not keep clear data on its statewide high school sizes, but elementary schools were relatively small in 2000, with an average classroom seating 20 children.

2018 state population: 1.06 million
State spending per student in 2016: $15,532
Average graduation rate in 2017: 84.1

Sources: EdweekNational Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© iStock

40. South Carolina

The average South Carolina elementary school had 19.1 students per classroom while its high schools averaged 26 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 5.08 million
State spending per student in 2016: $10,24
Average graduation rate in 2017: 83.6

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


41. South Dakota

The average South Dakota elementary school had 20.4 students per classroom and the average high school had 22.3 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 880,000
State spending per student in 2016: $9,176
Average graduation rate in 2017: 83.7

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


42. Tennessee

Tennessee’s elementary schools had 17.7 students per classroom while the average high school had 26.9 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 6.77 million
State spending per student in 2016: $8,810
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.8%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


43. Texas

An average Texas elementary school had 18.2 students per classroom. Its high school classrooms averaged 26.9 students.

2018 state population: 28.7 million
State spending per student in 2016: $9,016
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.7%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


44. Utah

Utah elementary schools had 27.4 students per classroom. High school classrooms swelled in size with a staggering 31.5 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 3.16 million
State spending per student in 2016: $6,953
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

© Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

45. Vermont

Vermont elementary schools had 16.6 students per classroom, while its high schools averaged 19.8 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 630,000
State spending per student in 2016: $17,873
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.1%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


46. Virginia

Virginia’s elementary schools had 20.4 students per classroom and the state’s high schools had 23.8 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 1.81 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,291
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.4%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


47. Washington

Washington elementary schools averaged 23.7 students per classroom. High schools had an average of 29.7 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 7.54 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,534
Average graduation rate in 2017: 79.4%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


48. West Virginia

West Virginian public schools had an average of 18.7 students per classroom. The state’s high schools had an average of 24 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 1.81 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,291
Average graduation rate in 2017: 89.4%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


49. Wisconsin

Wisconsin elementary schools had an average of 20.8 students per classroom. High schools averaged 27.9 students per classroom.

2018 state population: 5.81 million
State spending per student in 2016: $11,456
Student to teacher ratio in 2014: 14.9
Average graduation rate in 2017: 88.6%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa


50. Wyoming

Wyoming elementary schools averaged 17 students per classroom while high school classrooms averaged 19.6 students.

2018 state population: 580,000
State spending per student in 2016: $16,442
Student to teacher ratio in 2014: 12.4
Average graduation rate in 2017: 86.2%

Sources: National Center for Education StatisticsGoverning.comStatiststa

Help give kids in every zip code the supplies they need to succeed