Eagle Scout Class of 2017: A look at the 4th-biggest class ever

The world needs more Eagle Scouts, and 2017 delivered in a big way.

Exactly 55,494 young men became Eagle Scouts last year. That’s the most in a single year since 2013, and it’s the fourth-biggest Eagle Scout class in history (trailing 2012, 2010 and 2013).

This is great news for our country and our world. It means the planet has another 55,494 people who are prepared to be outstanding friends and coworkers, leaders and innovators, husbands and fathers.

How large was the Eagle Scout Class of 2017?

There were 55,494 Eagle Scouts in 2017. Are you having trouble wrapping your head around that number? I was, too, so I looked at the seating capacities of Major League Baseball stadiums.

The largest, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, holds 56,000 people. Close enough. Here’s what Dodger Stadium looks like when it’s almost full:

That’s a lot of Eagle Scouts.

A deep dive into the numbers

Let’s look at the numbers behind the numbers:

  • Total number of Eagle Scout service project hours recorded in 2017
  • Region-by-region Eagle numbers
  • Number of Eagle Scouts per year, from 1912 to 2017
  • State-by-state Eagle rankings
  • The average age of 2017’s Eagle Scouts

As always, my thanks to the BSA’s Mike Lo Vecchio, who provides me with these Eagle Scout stats each year.

How many Eagle Scout service project hours were recorded in 2017?

Eagle Scouts and their volunteers completed 8,461,760 hours of service in 2017. That works out to about 152.5 hours per project.

Some might call that amount of service to communities “priceless.” But, in fact, you can put a price on it.

At the current “value of volunteer time” rate of $24.14 per hour, that works out to $204.3 million worth of service to communities.

Year Total Hours Eagle Scouts Hours per Eagle Scout project
2017  8,461,760  55,494 152.5
2016  9,156,368  55,186 165.9
2015  8,503,337  54,366 156.4
2014  8,127,532  51,820 156.8
2013  9,347,047  56,841 164.4

Note: The real number is probably much higher. Many soon-to-be Eagle Scouts miscalculate the number of hours worked, thereby shortchanging themselves. Read this post for details.

What was the region-by-region breakdown?

Region 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Western  19,314  16,999  18,317  18,073  18,319
Southern  15,407  13,861  14,484  14,962  14,621
Central  11,450  10,681  10,913  11,017  11,227
Northeast  10,670  10,279  10,652  11,134  11,327
Total  56,841  51,820  54,366  55,186  55,494

Congrats to the Western Region for, once again, having the largest number of Eagle Scouts!

How many young men have been Eagle Scouts in past years?

In all, 2,485,473 young men have become Eagle Scouts from 1912 to 2017. That includes every Eagle Scout since the very first one: Arthur Rose Eldred in 1912.

1912  23
1913  54
1914  165
1915  96
1916  103
1917  219
1918  222
1919  468
1920  629
1921  1,306
1922  2,001
1923  2,196
1924  3,264
1925  3,980
1926  4,516
1927  5,713
1928  6,706
1929  6,676
1930  7,980
1931  8,976
1932  9,225
1933  6,659
1934  7,548
1935  8,814
1936  7,488
1937  7,831
1938  8,784
1939  9,918
1940  10,498
1941  9,527
1942  8,440
1943  9,285
1944  10,387
1945  10,694
1946  10,850
1947  9,733
1948  8,016
1949  9,058
1950  9,813
1951  10,708
1952  15,668
1953  9,993
1954  12,239
1955  14,486
1956  15,484
1957  17,407
1958  17,548
1959  17,360
1960  21,175
1961  24,637
1962  26,181
1963  27,428
1964  29,247
1965  27,851
1966  26,999
1967  30,878
1968  28,311
1969  31,052
1970  29,103
1971  30,972
1972  29,089
1973  46,966
1974  36,739
1975  21,285
1976  27,687
1977  24,879
1978  22,149
1979  22,188
1980  22,543
1981  24,865
1982  25,573
1983  25,263
1984  27,326
1985  27,173
1986  26,846
1987  27,578
1988  27,163
1989  29,187
1990  29,763
1991  32,973
1992  34,063
1993  33,672
1994  37,438
1995  31,209
1996  37,715
1997  40,296
1998  41,167
1999  47,582
2000  40,029
2001  43,665
2002  49,328
2003  49,151
2004  50,377
2005  49,895
2006  51,728
2007  51,742
2008  52,025
2009  53,122
2010  57,147
2011  51,933
2012  58,659
2013  56,841
2014  51,820
2015  54,366
2016  55,186
2017  55,494

Which states had the most Eagle Scouts?

That data gets its own post here.

What was the average age of 2017 Eagle Scouts?

That data gets its own post here.