Superintendent and District Data

AASA’s diverse members work in a broad variety of educational settings. This data illustrates the characteristics and demographics of AASA’s members and the districts in which they work.

Superintendent Demographics
(from the 2006 State of the Superintendency study)

Currently in the United States there is no set number of superintendents. While the number of school districts is easier to track, school districts without students, county districts containing more than one district, special education districts, juvenile justice districts, and special education service or immediate districts all complicate the count somewhat. Additionally, in rural areas with small districts, some superintendents serve more than one district.

  • 21.7 percent of superintendents are women, a number that is increasing over time.
  • The mean age of superintendents is between 54 and 55 years of age.
  • The number of minority superintendents is around six percent.
  • 60 percent of superintendents have a doctoral degree.


Superintendent Tenure

Tenure for superintendents often makes headlines but is frequently understated. According to AASA’s 2006 State of the Superintendency study:

  • The mean tenure for a superintendent is five to six years.
  • The annual turnover rate for superintendents is between 14 and 16 percent.


Salary Information


Number of School Districts

  • 14,383 in 2003-04, according to the Common Core of Data (NCES)


District Sizes (NCES 2003-04)

  • 25,000 students or more: 2 percent of districts, representing 34 percent of students
  • 10,000 to 24,999 students: 4 percent of districts, representing 19 percent of students
  • 2,500 to 9,999 students: 22 percent of districts, representing 30 percent of students
  • 1,000 to 2,499 students: 24 percent of districts, representing 12 percent of students
  • 600 to 999 students: 12 percent of districts, representing 3 percent of students
  • 599 and under: 35 percent of districts, representing 3 percent of students.

Figure 1 illustrates the percent of districts in terms of total enrollment.


Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of students across the various district sizes.





StateoftheSuperintendencyCoverFor more superintendent data, check out The State of the American School Superintendency: A Mid-Decade Study
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This report provides the largest and most comprehensive look at the men and women leading the nation's public schools.