Eagle Scout Class of 2019: Behind the largest Eagle class ever

Soldier Field wide shot
Soldier Field in Chicago could fit the Eagle Scout Class of 2019 — but just barely.

More young people became Eagle Scouts in 2019 than in any other year in the 108-year history of the prestigious award.

Exactly 61,353 young men earned the Eagle Scout award last year, beating the previous record of 58,659 set in 2012, the 100-year anniversary of the award first being presented.

It’s worth noting that this is the last year I’ll be able to type “young men” when referring to the newest Eagle Scout class.

Last year, we reported that the BSA will honor the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts in late 2020. This class is open to any young woman who passes her board of review between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, 2020, and has submitted her postmarked Eagle application to the National Office no later than Nov. 2, 2020.

As an Eagle Scout (Class of 1999), I have to say it will be such a thrill to watch these impressive young women earn their Eagle badges later this year.

Speaking of impressive, let’s get back to the Eagle Scout Class of 2019.

Putting the number in perspective

The capacity of Soldier Field, home to the NFL’s Chicago Bears, is 61,500. That means this year’s Eagle Scout class would just barely fit inside, with room for 147 friends, family members or Scouting bloggers.

Never been to Soldier Field? Then try this: The Class of 2019 is so large that it wouldn’t fit inside any of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. Eagle Scout Day at the Ballpark? Better plan it for a doubleheader.

So why am I making such a big deal about the largest-ever Eagle Scout class? Because it’s a good thing to have so many new Eagle Scouts in the world.

As a Scout leader, you no doubt helped one of these young men discover new things about life, the natural world and himself. Now he’ll use those skills as he takes on life’s next chapter.

Think about that impressive Eagle Scout, and then multiply by 61,353. That’s 61,353 Eagle Scout service projects, 61,353 trained leaders and 61,353 more-prepared citizens.

Let’s break this record every year!

A deeper dive into the numbers

Let’s look at the numbers behind the numbers. We’ll cover:

  • Total number of Eagle Scout service project hours recorded in 2019
  • Region-by-region Eagle numbers
  • Number of Eagle Scouts per year, from 1912 to 2019
  • State-by-state Eagle rankings
  • The average age of 2019’s Eagle Scouts

Thanks to the BSA’s Garfield Murden and Debbie Williams for providing these official numbers.

Total number of Eagle Scout service project hours recorded in 2019

Eagle Scouts, and the volunteers they led, completed 8,575,780 hours of work for Eagle Scout service projects in 2019. (The real number is probably even higher!)

That works out to 139.8 hours per project.

At the 2019 “value of volunteer time” rate of $25.43 per hour, that equals a staggering $218.1 million worth of service to communities.

As many city governments are forced to trim their budgets each year, Scouting often fills in the gaps through acts of service.

Region-by-region Eagle numbers

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Western 18,317 18,073 18,319 17,384 24,624
Southern 14,484 14,962 14,621 14,049 14,913
Central 10,913 11,017 11,227 10,320 10,913
Northeast 10,652 11,134 11,327 10,407 10,903
Total 54,366 55,186 55,494 52,160 61,353

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

Number of Eagle Scouts per year, from 1912 to 2019

To my fellow Eagle Scouts: What’s your Eagle number? In other words, how many people became Eagle Scouts the same year as you? Mine is 47,582.

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
2019 61,353

State-by-state Eagle rankings

Utah ruled once again, accounting for more Eagle Scouts than any other state in 2019.

Also of interest is the “Rank Change” column, which shows that Idaho and Nevada each had huge jumps last year.

  • 0: No rank change.
  • Positive number: The state saw its Eagle ranking rise from 2018 to 2019.
  • Negative number: The state saw its Eagle ranking fall from 2018 to 2019.
2019 Rank State Eagle Scouts 2018 Rank Rank Change
1 Utah 9,723 1 0
2 California 5,534 2 0
3 Texas 4,513 3 0
4 Pennsylvania 2,307 4 0
5 Idaho 2,305 17 12
6 North Carolina 2,219 5 -1
7 New York 2,170 6 -1
8 Virginia 2,152 7 -1
9 Ohio 1,919 8 -1
10 Arizona 1,780 12 2
11 Florida 1,746 9 -2
12 Illinois 1,722 10 -2
13 Georgia 1,478 11 -2
14 Washington 1,432 16 2
15 Missouri 1,400 14 -1
16 New Jersey 1,385 13 -3
17 Colorado 1,195 21 4
18 Michigan 1,180 15 -3
19 Maryland 1,037 18 -1
20 Massachusetts 991 19 -1
21 Minnesota 975 22 1
22 Tennessee 916 24 2
23 Indiana 894 20 -3
24 Wisconsin 888 23 -1
25 Nevada 738 32 7
26 Connecticut 707 25 -1
27 South Carolina 665 26 -1
28 Kansas 632 28 0
29 Oregon 601 27 -2
30 Iowa 572 31 1
31 Alabama 562 29 -2
32 Oklahoma 455 33 1
33 Kentucky 454 30 -3
34 Louisiana 371 35 1
35 Nebraska 358 34 -1
36 Hawaii 351 38 2
37 Mississippi 330 36 -1
38 Arkansas 284 37 -1
39 Wyoming 228 44 5
40 Montana 226 43 3
41 Rhode Island 218 41 0
42 New Mexico 216 42 0
43 West Virginia 187 39 -4
44 Maine 175 45 1
45 New Hampshire 173 40 -5
46 Alaska 142 47 1
47 Delaware 136 46 -1
48 North Dakota 104 48 0
49 South Dakota 88 49 0
50 Vermont 69 50 0

Average age of 2019 Eagle Scouts

The average age of youth earning the Eagle Scout Rank in 2019 was 17.3. That’s about the same as it has been for the past six years.


Soldier Field photo via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

About Bryan Wendell 3057 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.