Interactive Map: Private School Enrollment

Colleen O'Dea | February 3, 2012 | Education, Map of the Week, Maps
NJ Spotlight plots attendance patterns at schools across the Garden State

Private vs. public school? With an average tuition of about $20,000, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, that’s the million dollar question for parents considering the extra cost. What’s been their answer? This map shows the percentage of kids attending private schools across New Jersey.

To find out how many students in your community are attending private school, simply click on a municipality. You’ll see the total number of children in grades K-12, along with breakdowns of the percentages of children going to public and private schools in three categories — kindergarten, elementary, and high school — as well as the totals.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates attendance in public and private schools as part of the American Community Survey. Statewide, the data shows that 12.3 percent of all students attend private schools.

Private kindergarten enrollments are highest, often because many districts offer only a half-day program, and dual-income couples often want or need full-day classes. A larger percentage of students attend private high schools than elementary schools, typically to give teens a better shot at getting into a top college. There are other reasons, including not liking the local public school, wanting a more rigorous or well-known private school, or seeking a religious education.

The data is an average of enrollment patterns for 2006 through 2010.