What Percentage of the Average Life of an American Is Spent at School?

In the United States, about 15 percent of an average life is spent at school. This assumes that a person completes school from kindergarten through 12th grade and is based on the average life expectancy of 79 years.

In the United States, there are many opportunities for this percentage to increase if an individual wishes to pursue more education. A day care or learning center could be considered a child’s first school, as it addresses the child’s individual learning style and provides a space where the child can thrive. Government-funded programs, such as Head Start, provide opportunities for 3- and 4-year-olds to be included in a school setting. Over one million children participate in these programs yearly, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This would add an additional two to three years to the time spent in school, which would increase the percentage of time spent at school over a lifetime by an additional 4 percent.

As of today, 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds entered college. This would increase the number of years in school by two to eight years, depending on the desired degree, and could push the overall percentage to as high as 29 percent.