Eagle Scout Class of 2018: The numbers behind the number

Behind every Eagle Scout, there’s a story.

A story of perseverance. Of parents and adult volunteers offering guidance and support. Of merit badges, camping trips and service projects.

Multiply each individual Eagle Scout story by 52,160, and you’ll begin to see just how much impact Eagle Scouts had on their communities in 2018.

Exactly 52,160 young men — representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia — earned Scouting’s highest honor last year.

Let’s dive into the numbers.

Putting the number in perspective

With 52,160 Eagle Scouts, the Class of 2018 is officially the eighth-biggest Eagle Scout class in history.

For comparison, 2012’s record-setting class had 58,659 Eagle Scouts. (See the full year-by-year numbers later in the post.)

If all of those Class of 2018 Eagle Scouts wanted to gather to watch some Major League Baseball, there’s only place they could go.

With a capacity of 56,000, only Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (seen above) is large enough to hold everyone.

Percentage of eligible Scouts earning Eagle

Exactly 6.49 percent of eligible Scouts earned Eagle in 2018. Here’s a look at the Eagle percentage over the last 10 years.

Year Eagle Percentage
2009 4.06
2010 5.02
2011 4.55
2012 5.55
2013 6.02
2014 6.01
2015 6.57
2016 6.24
2017 6.46
2018 6.49
Average 5.70

Below, see how the average has increased over time.

I see the increase as a good thing. A higher percentage means young people are staying in the program longer, and it means they’re leaving the program prepared for life.

Consider this: What would the world be like if 100 percent of adults had earned Eagle? That’s a world I’d want to live in.

A deeper dive into the numbers

Let’s look at the numbers behind the numbers:

  • Total number of Eagle Scout service project hours recorded in 2018
  • Region-by-region Eagle numbers
  • Number of Eagle Scouts per year, from 1912 to 2018
  • State-by-state Eagle rankings
  • The average age of 2018’s Eagle Scouts

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

Total number of Eagle Scout service project hours recorded in 2018

Eagle Scouts, and the volunteers they led, completed 7,987,074 hours of work for Eagle Scout service projects in 2018.

That works out to 153.1 hours per project.

At the 2018 “value of volunteer time” rate of $24.69 per hour, that works out to $197.2 million worth of service to communities.

Year Total Hours Eagle Scouts Hours per Eagle Scout project
2018        7,987,074         52,160 153.1
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

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.

Region-by-region Eagle numbers

Region 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Western         16,999         18,317         18,073         18,319         17,384
Southern         13,861         14,484         14,962         14,621         14,049
Central         10,681         10,913         11,017         11,227         10,320
Northeast         10,279         10,652         11,134         11,327         10,407
Total         51,820         54,366         55,186         55,494         52,160

Congrats to the Western Region for having the largest total yet again!

Number of Eagle Scouts per year, from 1912 to 2018

Fellow Eagle Scouts, how many others were honored in the year you earned Eagle?

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
2018          52,160

State-by-state Eagle rankings

Here are the 2018 state-by-state rankings, as well as the rank change from 2017 to 2018.

Example: The +2 for North Carolina means that state’s rank jumped up two spots: from No. 7 in 2017 to No. 5 in 2018.

Rank State Eagle Scouts Rank Change 2017 Rank
1 Utah 5373 0 1
2 California 5149 0 2
3 Texas 4223 0 3
4 Pennsylvania 2346 0 4
5 North Carolina 1991 2 7
6 New York 1945 -1 5
7 Virginia 1890 -1 6
8 Ohio 1735 0 8
9 Florida 1636 1 10
10 Illinois 1618 -1 9
11 Georgia 1562 1 12
12 Arizona 1519 -1 11
13 New Jersey 1380 0 13
14 Missouri 1263 0 14
15 Michigan 1195 2 17
16 Washington 1191 0 16
17 Idaho 1190 -2 15
18 Maryland 1051 1 19
19 Massachusetts 972 -1 18
20 Indiana 914 2 22
21 Colorado 912 -1 20
22 Minnesota 887 -1 21
23 Wisconsin 873 1 24
24 Tennessee 808 -1 23
25 Connecticut 626 0 25
26 South Carolina 604 1 27
27 Oregon 603 3 30
28 Kansas 585 -2 26
29 Alabama 531 -1 28
30 Kentucky 478 3 33
31 Iowa 473 0 31
32 Nevada 465 -3 29
33 Oklahoma 437 -1 32
34 Nebraska 395 1 35
35 Louisiana 373 -1 34
36 Mississippi 326 0 36
37 Arkansas 251 0 37
38 Hawaii 238 0 38
39 West Virginia 211 1 40
40 New Hampshire 199 2 42
41 Rhode Island 174 -2 39
42 New Mexico 165 -1 41
43 Montana 155 0 43
44 Wyoming 146 1 45
45 Maine 141 -1 44
46 Delaware 110 1 47
47 Alaska 102 1 48
48 North Dakota 102 -2 46
49 South Dakota 102 0 49
50 Vermont 91 0 50

Scouts didn’t just earn Eagle in one of the 50 states. Here are the numbers for BSA members who earned Eagle in Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and the BSA’s Transatlantic and Far East Councils.

Puerto Rico 206
Transatlantic 127
Far East 77
Washington DC 25

State-by-state Eagle rankings (population adjusted)

I used publicly available data to find the number of under-18 boys in each state, as of 2017 (the most recent year available).

That allowed me to create the following population-adjusted list.

Notice that Utah remains No. 1, but less-populous states like Idaho, Wyoming and Rhode Island jumped into the top 10.

Rank State  Eagle Scouts  Under 18 Population Percent Unadj. Rank
1 Utah 5373 926,699 0.580% 1
2 Idaho 1190 443,792 0.268% 17
3 Wyoming 146 136,483 0.107% 44
4 Virginia 1890 1,869,176 0.101% 7
5 Arizona 1519 1,633,490 0.093% 12
6 Missouri 1263 1,382,971 0.091% 14
7 Pennsylvania 2346 2,664,515 0.088% 4
8 North Carolina 1991 2,302,346 0.086% 5
9 Connecticut 626 743,826 0.084% 25
10 Rhode Island 174 207,332 0.084% 40
11 Nebraska 395 475,733 0.083% 34
12 Kansas 585 712,538 0.082% 28
13 Maryland 1051 1,347,506 0.078% 18
14 Vermont 91 116,825 0.078% 50
15 Hawaii 238 305,744 0.078% 38
16 New Hampshire 199 258,773 0.077% 41
17 Washington 1191 1,645,816 0.072% 16
18 Colorado 912 1,261,833 0.072% 21
19 Massachusetts 972 1,369,955 0.071% 19
20 New Jersey 1380 1,979,018 0.070% 13
21 Oregon 603 873,619 0.069% 27
22 Minnesota 887 1,298,657 0.068% 22
23 Wisconsin 873 1,282,644 0.068% 23
24 Nevada 465 685,463 0.068% 32
25 Montana 155 228,889 0.068% 43
26 Ohio 1735 2,605,235 0.067% 8
27 Iowa 473 731,947 0.065% 31
28 Georgia 1562 2,514,698 0.062% 11
29 Indiana 914 1,573,409 0.058% 20
30 North Dakota 102 175,772 0.058% 48
31 Texas 4223 7,366,039 0.057% 3
32 West Virginia 211 369,718 0.057% 39
33 California 5149 9,060,136 0.057% 2
34 Illinois 1618 2,897,185 0.056% 10
35 Maine 141 252,634 0.056% 45
36 Alaska 102 184,928 0.055% 47
37 Michigan 1195 2,176,649 0.055% 15
38 South Carolina 604 1,104,674 0.055% 26
39 Delaware 110 204,484 0.054% 46
40 Tennessee 808 1,507,502 0.054% 24
41 Alabama 531 1,095,473 0.048% 29
42 South Dakota 102 214,856 0.047% 49
43 Kentucky 478 1,010,539 0.047% 30
44 New York 1945 4,154,497 0.047% 6
45 Mississippi 326 713,567 0.046% 36
46 Oklahoma 437 959,285 0.046% 33
47 Florida 1636 4,201,983 0.039% 9
48 Arkansas 251 705,540 0.036% 37
49 New Mexico 165 488,090 0.034% 42
50 Louisiana 373 1,108,403 0.034% 35

The average age of 2018’s Eagle Scouts

This number has remained pretty steady over the past five years.

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
 Western 17.03 17.06 17.08 17.05 17.02
 Southern 17.29 17.34 17.31 16.88 17.31
 Central 17.36 17.38 17.45 17.36 17.40
 Northeast 17.56 17.57 17.55 17.53 17.54
 Overall Average Age 17.31 17.34 17.35 17.21 17.32
About Bryan Wendell 2817 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is senior editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.