Approximately 1.8 million U.S. children were home-schooled in 2012, more than double the number that were home-schooled in 1999, when the federal government began gathering data on national home-schooling trends, according to estimates released Tuesday. The estimated number of home-schooled children represents 3.4 percent of the U.S. student population between the ages of 5 and 17.

The increase was fastest between 1999 and 2007, then slowed between 2007 and 2012, according to the estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics. The figures show that most home-schoolers were white and living above the poverty line in 2012. An estimated 4 in 10 home-schoolers had parents who graduated from college, while about 1 in 10 had parents whose formal education ended before they graduated from high school. READ MORE