U.S. News evaluated 21,035 public schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia for the 2013 Best High Schools rankings, with 18,196 schools eligible to be ranked. Below, we have also conducted a detailed demographic breakdown of the 4,805 medal winners.
Poverty distribution: This is the percentage of a school's 2010-2011 total enrollment that was eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, or the percent of economically disadvantaged students. The schools that were medal winners are broken down by different percentages of poverty, ranging from less than 5 percent to greater than or equal to 75 percent.
Minority distribution: This is the percentage of a school's 2010-2011 total enrollment that was American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or Hispanic. The medal-winning schools are broken down by different percentages of minorities, ranging from less than 5 percent to greater than or equal to 75 percent.
School structure: This is the breakdown of which medal winners were designated as either charter or magnet as reported to the U.S. Department of Education Common Core Data website for the 2010-2011 school year.
Community environment: This is the distribution by type of geographic area where the medal-winning high schools are located across the U.S. The locations range from large cities, suburbs of large cities and mid-sized cities to small towns and remote rural areas.
From analyzing this demographic data, displayed in the table below, it's clear that the top-ranked high schools are a very diverse group of schools.
For example, 75 percent of all medal winners are high schools with students in poverty of greater than or equal to 25 percent of enrollment. Also, 50 percent of all medal-winning high schools had minority enrollment of greater than or equal to 25 percent of their students.
Finally, 54 percent of the medal winners are schools located away from cities and suburbs, including in remote or rural areas.
|Total number of gold medals||Percent of schools with gold medals||Total number of silver medals||Percent of schools with silver medals||Total number of bronze medals||Percent of schools with bronze medals|
|Total schools with medals||500||10.4%||1,790||37.3%||2,515||52.3%|
|Schools with poverty enrollment >=25%||153||30.6%||1,176||65.7%||2,296||91.3%|
|Schools with poverty enrollment >=50%||72||14.4%||496||27.7%||1,312||52.2%|
|Schools with poverty enrollment >= 75%||32||6.4%||143||8.0%||384||15.3%|
|Schools with no significant poverty enrollment (<5% or "n.a.")||129||25.8%||62||3.5%||37||1.5%|
|Title I schools (which receive federal funds based on proportion of low-income students or families)||203||40.6%||822||45.9%||1,614||64.2%|
|Schools with minority enrollment >=25%||336||67.2%||999||55.8%||1,065||42.3%|
|Schools with minority enrollment >=50%||180||36.0%||577||32.2%||624||24.8%|
|Schools with minority enrollment >= 75%||96||19.2%||353||19.7%||377||15.0%|
|Schools with no significant minority enrollment (<5% or "n.a.")||12||2.4%||163||9.1%||589||23.4%|
|Schools in large cities||125||25.0%||256||14.3%||218||8.7%|
|Schools in mid-size cities||33||6.6%||110||6.1%||58||2.3%|
|Schools in small cities||43||8.6%||125||7.0%||59||2.3%|
|Schools in suburban areas of large cities||219||43.8%||508||28.4%||186||7.4%|
|Schools in suburban areas of mid-size cities||11||2.2%||53||3.0%||34||1.4%|
|Schools in suburban areas of small cities||5||1.0%||42||2.3%||24||1.0%|
|Schools in towns on fringe of urban areas||3||0.6%||39||2.2%||41||1.6%|
|Schools in towns distant from urban areas||1||0.2%||97||5.4%||180||7.2%|
|Schools in remote towns||1||0.2%||57||3.2%||162||6.4%|
|Schools in rural areas on fringe of urban areas||52||10.4%||295||16.5%||295||11.7%|
|Schools in rural areas distant from urban areas||3||0.6%||134||7.5%||720||28.6%|
|Schools in remote rural areas||4||0.8%||74||4.1%||538||21.4%|