Online education statistics

E-learning is a learning program based on practical teaching, but with the help of electronics.

Online learning trends have seen rapid growth in recent years. Lectures and seminars no longer have to be confined in a classroom, because lecturers and students have a digital toolbox_ ranging from mobile devices to virtual learning systems to online courses and digital textbooks. 

Distance learning has become a huge trend as more teachers and students are using the power of the internet and going digital, e-learning statistics say. 

Benefits of e-learning include independence, flexibility, better time management, and improved self-motivation. 

The rise of the COVID-19 has forced us to slow down and adapt. 

More than 1.2 million children worldwide are outside the classroom.

Even before the epidemic, online learning styles were on the rise. 

According to UNICEF monitoring, 25+ countries are implementing nationwide closures while 40 are implementing local closures impacting the student population. 

Before the pandemic, educational institutions had the option to incorporate e-learning as part of their offer but was seen as a bonus, attractive mainly to part-time or foreign students who want more flexible learning arrangements. 

The teaching staff has been forced to familiarize themselves with online platforms to deliver lectures, students are adapting to online learning trends, platforms like google have innovated and quickly incorporated functions like video conferencing.

Let us quickly look at the online education statistics. 

General Statistics

  • Online learning trends suggest that a part of the education course is to be done online with at least 32% of students in public institutions having one distance education course up to complete distance learning education.
    • Of the 4.6 million students in the public institution offering an online course, 3 million students have taken in at least one distance education course
    • With 1.6 million students in the public school programs are enrolled exclusively in distance education program
  • Online school statisticsindicate that private schools in the United States of America are still transitioning to offering an online course with only 1.1 million students from a private nonprofit institution enrolled in some sort of distance learning courses.
    • 392,155 students enrolled in at least one distance education course.
    • 788,407 students enrolled exclusively in distance education courses.
  • With the current pandemic, the number of students that would choose distant learning would increase from the reason of heath scare compared to the highest reason from the previous years which is 47% chose an online course due to them being unable to attend school.
  • Many Online programs offer a unique and limited course that 21% of students enrolled in distant learning due to the fact that it cannot be found elsewhere.
  • Last year, schools increased an average of 45% of their budget to support online learning of both 4 years and 2 years programs.
  • Advancement in technology has allowed 67% of students to complete online programs using just mobile phones.

What is the Percentage of Students Taking Online Classes?

63% of U.S. high school students use e-learning tools every day.

The majority of high school students are exposed to e-learning tools daily to help them study, do homework or take exams.

Over 3 million students complete their higher education online

People between ages 5 to 17 contribute 3.1% that take an online school-related course.

45% of elementary school students use digital tools daily for online classes. 

Most elementary school students have adopted the use of digital tools, and sixty-seven percent of students use mobile devices to complete online courses. 

42% of students working towards a bachelor’s degree take online classes

Forty-two percent of e-learning students are working towards a bachelor’s degree while 27% of students working towards a doctorate take a course online.

Most high school students have an interest in learning online programming.

The majority of high school students have shown interest in online programming. 42% of these are females, while 62% are males

Online college statistics reveal that many students have been taking advantage of e-learning for some time now and the numbers are increasing drastically due to the pandemic and lockdown.

Approximately 33% of college students take a course online.

According to a survey by the Babson Survey Research Group, thirty-three percent of college students are taking at least one course online,

An online course has also allowed students the freedom to learn at their own pace and fit them in their current activities without sacrificing too much of their time. Keeping them free to do more activities that might be focused on their career or their personal learnings.

How Many Schools Offer Online Courses?

In recent years, online courses are being embraced by students, academics, as well as colleges. 

Online degree options of most colleges are being increased. Ivy league students are not left out, they too are now eligible for a few online courses. 

The effectiveness of online courses, as opposed to classroom courses, is now being recognized by schools and even some employers. Today, online degrees are now widely accepted as a result of most universities embracing online learning.  

About 65% of universities have supported distance learning over the years.

Most higher learning institutes had embraced online learning in the past even before it became popular.

75 percent of institutions have listed their potential for online education as a concern for the future.

Online education statistics reveal that many institutions now see eLearning as important for the future of education.

More than twenty-one percent (21%) of colleges within the U.S offer online courses entirely.

By the end of 2021, 75% of schools plan to work online.

 Since 2020, 98% of universities have offered online classes. 75% of schools have purchased or are preparing to purchase additional student technology.

By 2020, 46% of USA tertiary institutions have offered foreign students the option of distance or private study if they are unable to attend campus classes due to travel restrictions

Growth of e-learning Statistics & Figures 

Last year, 40% of public universities took online classes full-time.

Whereas 20% of private institutions did the same. Among the public colleges, quite a higher rate of law schools offered a  course online compared to conventional private universities.

Globally, the eLearning industry is the fastest growing industry.

The eLearning industry continues to grow as computers and the internet become more and more accessible. 

Online learning market statistics indicate the industry will hit the $325 billion mark in 2025.

Online learning market statistics indicate the industry will reach $325 billion in 2025, progressing at an annual growth rate of 16%

The US and Europe are currently the largest e-learning markets. 

About 70% of the world’s eLearning market is statistically proven to be dominated by Europe and the US. These proven statistics indicate that the bulk of eLearning activity is being centered in Europe and the US.

How Big is the Online Learning Market? 

The e-learning market is divided into various categories such as additional primary and secondary education, higher education, exam preparation, repetition and online certification, and root language and learning.

The current user base of e-learning consists of students and practitioners.

The exam preparation phase consists of small and medium enterprises, and the re-use of power and online verification is dominated by large companies.

With this disease, unusual learning styles such as music, storytelling, drawing, began to come together and became very popular

The E-Learning market is projected to reach $147.79 billion by or even before 2025

Globally, the e-learning market is expected to reach $ 147.79 billion between 2021-2025. This will mean an annual developing growth rate of 16%.

The North American e-learning market is estimated at 40% of the sector’s share and is growing rapidly due to rapid technological adoption.

The market is divided by many local and regional players competing in the rapidly growing education sector.

Key companies operating in the market are Aptara, Adobe Systems, Microsoft companies, Citrix education, etc.

The market size of the e-learning company will cost $ 50 billion by 2026.

With an annual growth rate of 15%, the corporate market will be at the forefront of the e-learning industry. 

Online Education Enrollment Statistics

Over 100 million students worldwide have enrolled in open online courses.

Women are more likely to take advantage of online education trends.

According to enrollment statistics, seventeen percent of women compared to 13.6% of men pursue online education. 

In 2020, 77% of grad students registered for degree programs 

Seventy-seven of grad students were registered for degree programs while 23% were a part of certification or licensure programs.

1% of post-baccalaureate students took at least one online course. Meanwhile, 9% enrolled completely in online schools.

Among enrolled students in public schools and institutions, a percentage of about thirty-two (32%) took an online course.

Statistics show that thirty-two percent of students in public institutions are taking at least one online learning course.

About 80% of students who enroll in online learning are undergraduate students.

Online education enrollment statistics reflect the fact that, contrary to popular belief, it is the undergraduate students who enroll in online schools.

Eight Ivy League schools had already approved online education before the epidemic.

Online classes have been popular in prestigious schools for a long time. To reach the broader stage, all eight Ivy League schools introduced some form of distance learning before the epidemic forced schools to re-introduce themselves.

Online Learning Experience (Students & faculty)

The best part about online education is that anyone with an electronic device and internet connection can take part in a class.

While other students enjoy the trend, others are yet to adapt.

eLearning has created social and economic divisions as 25% to 33% of students have no access to resources.

33% of students in poor Third World countries don’t have access to digital learning tools, as a result, they can’t meet up with the growing online education trends. (think impact) 

For many students, e-learning is a more affordable option with lower tuition and no fare expenses.

With online education comes lower tuition and no fare expenses. This is the reason why many students prefer online education.

86% of graduates say the value gained from their online degree exceeds or equals the cost paid for it. 

According to a survey, 86% of graduates say the value gained from their online degree exceeds or equals the cost paid for it. 

50% of elementary students enjoy using technology_ from educational videos to games_ as a learning method.

Technology and education statistics have revealed that 50% of elementary students enjoy using technology_ from educational videos to games_ as a learning method.

Distance/Online Learning: Student Satisfaction Rate

Trusting the shift to exclusive online learning is hard especially for those who do not have the capability to learn on their own. That is why 23 percent of students still have some concern regarding if the quality of education from the modules can be translated to their learning. While 32 percent showed no concerns in the shift to online learning as they trust that online learning is sustainable.  online college statistics showed the following:

  • That 18% were concerned if a degree earned online would bear the same weight as a degree earned in the traditional setting.
  • Sociable students who are about 17% are concerned about their social interaction or lack thereof from their classmates and instructor.
  • 9% were still adamant that they would be able to use the current technologies and Softwares necessary for their course work. 

Distance education statistics show the convenience for a student taking an online learning program that has an external commitment and those who are living out of state.

Both undergraduate and graduate students felt that online learning is the same or even better than the traditional setting, allowing them to pursue some activities and more learnings. With 37% of the students said that the online learning experience was even better than the traditional face-to-face classes. While 48% felt that learning both online and face to face is about the same. And 15 percent said that online learning was not as effective.

Online Schools Vs Traditional Schools 

Going to college is no longer the alternative. In the past, You could only adapt to a schedule set by the school but nowadays, you can create your schedule of lectures. 

Amidst a global pandemic, many educational institutions are ramping up on their online courses. And as a new academic year is approaching, students both existing and new start wondering which class structure is best for them. 

During this pandemic, some students have had a taste of online education, they have different experiences and preferences when it comes to earning a degree. 

Educators have also had a taste of both online education and the normal traditional in-class school method. 

76% percent of education leaders believe that online education is equivalent to or higher than that of traditional education

They believe online learning is a critical component of long-term educational strategies. 

E-learning is  accessible

Online learning is more accessible for many students, especially those working full time, those who have family obligations, those who live far from campuses, and those who live abroad. It is easy for them to attend classes as they don’t have to attend in classrooms.

About 1 in 4 student claim they learn better through online classes

 One in every four students claims they learn better through online classes. Three out of four students still feel they perform better in a traditional classroom setting. 

Research shows that students in online learning perform better than on-campus students. 

This is because online students go at their own pace and time,e, unlike the usual classroom settings where students work according to school schedule. 

In the US, approximately fifty-two percent (52%) of students prefer the online learning experience to their local classroom learning

A survey carried out in 2020 showed that fifty-two percent of students in the US found online education to provide a better learning experience than their college-level classroom. 

Online education uses the internet and communication technology to get tools like chat, blogs, video conferences, and shared documents. 

This system allows students to work, take exams and attend classes wherever they are. It also stimulates students’ curiosity, independence, self-directed learning, and critical thinking. 

With traditional education, students adapt to the teacher’s rhythm and teaching method. The students rely solely on the teacher for any information they need. 


Online learning may increase the retention rate by as much as 60% compared to the 8-10% retention rate of classroom training. 

A yearly 1-2% decrease in enrolment of students is being in Traditional secondary education. Every year, many more students prefer taking affordable online courses.

E-learning Trends 

Before the pandemic, the e-learning industry was growing rapidly. However, since the closure of schools and businesses, online learning has now become the trend. 

Let’s look at the trends that are dominating the industry in 2021

eLearning Market Expected to Develop Worldwide, reaching $240 Billion by 2022

eLearning figures from Statista show that the global eLearning market is anticipated to reach  $ 240 billion by 2022. 

Mobile learning is one of the fastest-growing trends in the industry with an annual growth rate of 23%. 

It has been predicted that the mobile education market will be valued at over $280 billion by 2027.

77% of L&D specialists feel that a personalized learning experience has an important role in staff engagement.

Concerning customized educational content, 41% of employees attest to the fact that interactive video technology is the most successful.  

Udemy has over two thousand professionals and more than 12 million learners utilizing its platform.

After a $103 million funding in 2013, LinkedIn obtained for a sum of $1.5 billion just two years later and then formed LinkedIn learning. There has been a notable increase in market value

Coursera, which is an online education platform, has grown massively within the past year.

Coursera has witnessed a 59% growth in revenue since the covid-19 pandemic started.

.Thinkific has over 50000 students using its platform and It allows them to draft their learning program

Ever since its inception, Thinkific has hosted more than 75 million courses in total with its user base stretching over 190 countries.

Another great platform is Skillshare. They have over 23,000 courses with approximately 4 million users.

Some institutions have partnered with edX (an online learning platform). They presently offer over 8000 courses.

Online Learning and COVID-19 Impact

The rise of the pandemic showed the importance of preparing for online learning programs. Online schooling statistics showed some institutions are still unprepared, here are some of the online degree statistics that you need to check:

  • With a lack of adequate preparation around 3,278 higher education institutions and 22.3 million students would bear the impact of COVID-19.
  • The pandemic has pushed 98% of institutions to move the majority of there face to face classes online, with the University of Washington be the first major university to move classes and exams online 
  • COVID-19 did not only suspended 95% of institutions’ travel for faculty & staff, but it has also pushed institutions to move 93% of their work to be done remotely.
  • It might have been late but 43% of institutions had invested in pursuing new online learning resources that would allow them to resume the classes and also continue to give the best quality of education they have.

During this pandemic, the top concerns of Higher Education Institutions are the following:

  • Students’ mental health- 92%

With students being unable to go outside, depression might kick in with students who do not have a comfortable situation during the pandemic.

  • Employees’ mental health- 88%

With recession most likely taking place because of the pandemic, earning money might have been a cause of issue for the employees, Institutions are making sure that they were able to satisfy their employees’ needs during the course of the pandemic.

  • Short-term financial costs (unbudgeted)- 87%

A sudden shift to online learning would boost the expenses of an institution that didn’t allot budgets for an unforeseen situation like this.

  • Accelerated rates of student attrition- 85%
  • Accessibility to online learning platforms/tools- 76%
  • Faculty readiness for online learning- 75%
  • Technological readiness for online learning- 57%

Longer-term issues university administrators are concerned with include:

  • Overall financial stability- 89%
  • The decline in future enrollment- 88%
  • Ability to afford/employ staff/faculty- 81%

Will online learning be able to sustain the same number of enrollees that would be able to allow institutions to hire a certain number of its employees? Some employees might be categorized as non-essential for online learning that might be left out unless the routing of positions is done by the institution.

  • Demands for facilities reimbursement-62%

With school facilities not used, demands for reimbursement of the cost of facilities in enrolments would be high. Will institutions be able to afford to pay for the facilities that would not be used for online learning?

  • Demands for tuition reimbursement- 55%

Without using the school’s facilities, students think the cost of education should be lesser than usual.

With online education, students might result in an institution with online learning and would just enroll in their own country’s institution that offers similar online learning programs.

What Are the Challenges of Online Learning?

Challenges would certainly arise in unprepared institutions and students with inadequate equipment for online courses. This could particularly affect those for-profit schools that enroll high numbers of low-income students. Courses that have low passing and completion rates whether taught online or face to face, would most likely have low retention rates of enrollees. 

  • 69% would be promoting new online programs that would cate the demands on online learning
  • 59% costing of new online programs
  • 34% return of investment for online learning programs
  • 16% how to incorporate third-party content providers/designers and choosing content`
  • The last 4% would be faculty members refusal to use new technology to support online instruction and students, that would meet the quality found in face-to-face instruction

How is the education sector responding?

During the epidemic, a lot of students chose to receive regular updates on covid-19. 

The staff and student gap have also widened during the epidemic. The reason is that many schools have shut down, and the students are no longer able to meet their instructors physically.

More than 1,200 colleges in more than 50 districts are experiencing the covid-29 epidemic effect.

Most institutions have completely converted learning materials and forums. Online learning is presently the only major learning mode.

UNESCO created platforms and apps that teachers could use to connect with students in remote areas and reduce disruption to education


These online education statistics prove that learning is growing rapidly and will not slow down anytime soon.

There is no doubt, however, that if these new learning technologies are utilized properly, they will yield meaningful results. 

 Frequently Asked Questions
Why are online classes becoming more popular?

With the advancement in technology, it has become more appealing for every type of individual seeking learning. It may suit students who do not want to leave the comfort of their home to working professionals who are focused on pursuing a career but need personal development. Online classes have allowed students to have the freedom to work, study, and play without sacrificing too much that one would have an impact on the other. The flexibility of online learning has also become a big factor that with proper use of technology, one might be on the way to work and still study while commuting at the same time. 

Why do students choose online classes?

Imagine studying while on your bed, or at the comfort of your sofa, or even while doing some workout. Online classes have allowed students to learn in the most convenient way they imagined. They can learn at their own pace, work on other things while studying and spend less money on transport and food. They can also balance their work, play, and study life that would be most beneficial to them.

Is online learning effective?

The majority of students felt online learning is the same or even better than the traditional setting. Graduate students preferring it to traditional shows how effective online learning is.

How many students take online courses?

Around 33% or 6.6 million students among 19.7 million are enrolled in online learning education

Helen Vlasova
Helen is the co-founder of, a career guidance website for students and young professionals. She has a degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.

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