How Many Eagle Scouts Are There?

The Eagle Scout rank represents the highest achievement in Scouting. Earning this distinguished honor demonstrates dedication to the Scouting principles of citizenship, service, and personal growth. But just how exclusive is this top-tier status?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There are currently over 2.5 million Eagle Scouts in the United States.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the history and significance of the Eagle Scout honor. We’ll examine the rigorous requirements to earn it and how many Scouts achieve this goal each year. You’ll learn how many Eagle Scouts there are currently, as well as where they are concentrated around the country.

We’ll also highlight some notable Eagle Scouts and the impact they’ve made. By the end, you’ll have a thorough understanding of this pinnacle of Scouting achievement.

Overview of Eagle Scout Rank

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouts of America organization. It represents a significant milestone in a scout’s journey and is recognized as a symbol of dedication, leadership, and service.

This article provides an overview of the Eagle Scout rank, including its brief history, the process of achieving it, and its purpose and significance.

Brief History

The Eagle Scout rank was first introduced in 1911 and has since become one of the most prestigious awards in the scouting community. Its origins can be traced back to the founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who believed in the importance of recognizing and rewarding exceptional scouts.

Since then, countless young men have worked diligently to achieve this esteemed rank.

Achieving Eagle Scout

Attaining the Eagle Scout rank is no easy feat. It requires scouts to complete a series of requirements, including earning a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrating leadership skills by planning and leading a community service project, and actively participating in their troop and community.

Additionally, candidates must undergo a rigorous review process and pass a board of review before being awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.

Throughout their journey, scouts receive guidance and support from their troop leaders and mentors, who play a crucial role in helping them develop the necessary skills and values needed to achieve this prestigious rank.

Purpose and Significance

The Eagle Scout rank holds great significance for both the individual scout and the scouting community as a whole. It is a testament to the scout’s commitment to personal growth, character development, and service to others.

Achieving this rank demonstrates a scout’s ability to set goals, overcome challenges, and make a positive impact on their community.

Moreover, the Eagle Scout rank opens doors to numerous opportunities, including scholarships, college admissions, and leadership positions in various organizations. Many employers also recognize the value of the Eagle Scout rank, as it signifies qualities such as determination, responsibility, and strong work ethic.

According to the Boy Scouts of America, as of 2021, there have been over 2.5 million Eagle Scouts since the award’s inception. This impressive number reflects the longstanding legacy of this prestigious rank and the enduring impact that Eagle Scouts continue to make in their communities.

To learn more about the Eagle Scout rank and its significance, visit the official Boy Scouts of America website:

Earning the Eagle Scout Rank

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest achievement in the Boy Scouts of America program. It represents a significant accomplishment and is recognized as a prestigious honor. To earn the Eagle Scout rank, scouts must complete a series of requirements and demonstrate leadership, service, and outdoor skills.

Advancement Requirements

To become an Eagle Scout, scouts must first complete the necessary advancement requirements. This includes earning a total of at least 21 merit badges, including specific badges in areas such as first aid, citizenship, and outdoor skills.

Scouts must also serve in leadership positions within their troop and demonstrate a commitment to the Scout Oath and Law.

Eagle Project

One of the key components of earning the Eagle Scout rank is completing an Eagle project. This project is a service-oriented endeavor that allows scouts to demonstrate their leadership skills and make a positive impact in their community.

The project must be approved by the scout’s troop, district, and council, and should involve planning, organizing, and implementing a significant and lasting service project.

Eagle Scout Application Process

Once all the necessary requirements have been completed, scouts can begin the Eagle Scout application process. This involves gathering documentation of completed merit badges, leadership positions, and the successful completion of the Eagle project.

The application is then submitted to the scout’s local council for review and approval. If approved, the scout will be invited to participate in an Eagle Scout board of review, where their accomplishments and readiness for the rank will be evaluated.

According to the official website of the Boy Scouts of America, over 2 million scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout since its inception in 1912. This impressive number reflects the dedication and hard work of countless young men who have demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of Scouting.

You can learn more about the Eagle Scout rank and its requirements on the official Boy Scouts of America website.

Annual New Eagle Scouts

Number Earning Rank Each Year

The number of new Eagle Scouts each year has fluctuated over the past few decades. According to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), in 2019 there were approximately 58,000 new Eagle Scouts, down from around 59,000 in 2018. The peak was back in 1973 when over 120,000 Boy Scouts earned the Eagle rank.

Since then, the numbers have generally been on a downward trend, with some ups and downs along the way.

There are likely several reasons for this decline. One is that overall membership in the BSA has decreased over the years, from over 4 million members in the 1970s to around 2.2 million today. With fewer Boy Scouts overall, there are fewer working towards and achieving the Eagle rank.

Additionally, earning Eagle Scout requires a significant commitment of time and effort, which can be challenging for today’s busy youth. Economic factors and shifting cultural attitudes towards scouting may also play a role.

That said, Eagle Scout remains a distinguished achievement, with only about 4% of Boy Scouts earning it. The persistence of those attaining Eagle reflects the continued dedication and discipline of Scouts even amidst declining membership.

Recent years have also seen efforts to boost recruiting, so Eagle numbers may stabilize or rebound if participation trends upward again.

Percentage of Boy Scouts Reaching Eagle

As mentioned above, only a small percentage of Boy Scouts go on to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout rank each year. Looking at historical data:

  • In the 1970s, around 5-6% of Boy Scouts became Eagle Scouts
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, this percentage dropped to 3-4%
  • In recent years it has fluctuated around 4%

Based on the 58,000 new Eagle Scouts in 2019 and approximately 2.2 million total Scouts, the percentage earning Eagle was about 2.6% that year. So for the 2010s decade it has hovered in the 2-4% range generally.

There are a few reasons the percentage may fluctuate:

  • Total BSA membership numbers rising or falling each year
  • More or fewer younger Scouts just starting out each year
  • Requirement changes making Eagle easier or harder to attain

But in any given year, only a small subset of Scouts will have the motivation and perseverance to achieve Eagle rank. It requires years of effort, learning skills, demonstrating leadership, and completing a major service project. This commitment separates those few Eagles from the pack each year.

Total Current Eagle Scouts

Estimating All Time Total

Since 1912 when the Eagle Scout rank was first established, over 2.5 million Scouts have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. This prestigious accomplishment represents years of hard work, perseverance and dedication to the Scouting principles of citizenship, leadership and service.

The exact number of current Eagle Scouts is difficult to pin down due to a lack of centralized record keeping. However, we can make some educated guesses based on available data.

As of 2019, there were around 2.5 million living Eagle Scouts according to the Boy Scouts of America. Given that roughly 50,000 Scouts earn the Eagle rank each year, we can estimate that there are likely around 2.6-2.7 million living Eagle Scouts as of 2023.

Not all Eagle Scouts remain active or renew their membership every year. However, research from the Boy Scouts indicates that roughly 10% of Scouts attain Eagle status. With around 2 million youth members in the BSA today, that suggests around 200,000 current active Eagle Scouts.

Notable Growth Periods

Eagle Scout numbers have ebbed and flowed throughout Scouting’s 111 year history. The rank was fairly exclusive in the early years, with just 1,000 new Eagles per year in the 1930s. But there have been several notable growth spurts:

  • In the 1950s/60s, numbers jumped to around 20,000 new Eagles per year.
  • In the 1970s, as the Baby Boomer generation came of age, numbers reached 40,000 per year.
  • In the late 1990s/early 2000s, a surge to 50,000 new Eagles annually.

The all-time record for new Eagle Scouts in a year was 57,976 set in 2012. While growth has slowed slightly in recent years, the roughly 2 million living Eagles is a testament to the lasting legacy and impact of Scouting’s highest rank.

Geographic Breakdown of Eagle Scouts

Eagle Scouts are a prestigious group of young men who have achieved the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America program. The journey to becoming an Eagle Scout requires dedication, leadership skills, and a commitment to community service.

But have you ever wondered how many Eagle Scouts there are across the United States? Let’s take a closer look at the geographic breakdown of this esteemed group.

States with the Most Eagle Scouts

When it comes to producing Eagle Scouts, some states stand out from the rest. One of the states with the highest number of Eagle Scouts is California. With its vast population, diverse landscapes, and numerous scouting opportunities, it’s no wonder that California takes the lead in producing a significant number of Eagle Scouts each year.

Other states that consistently rank high in terms of Eagle Scout production include Texas, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

According to the Boy Scouts of America’s official website, California alone has produced over 6,000 Eagle Scouts in a single year. This impressive statistic showcases the dedication and commitment of both the scouts and the scouting organizations in these states.

It’s truly a testament to the impact scouting can have on young men’s lives.

Scouting Strongholds

While certain states may produce a high number of Eagle Scouts, there are also regions within those states that serve as scouting strongholds. These areas are known for their robust scouting programs, active participation, and a strong sense of community within the scouting community.

One example of a scouting stronghold is the Greater St. Louis Area in Missouri and Illinois. With its long history of scouting, numerous troops, and dedicated volunteers, this region has consistently produced a significant number of Eagle Scouts.

Other notable scouting strongholds include the Greater Atlanta Area in Georgia, the Greater Boston Area in Massachusetts, and the Greater Chicago Area in Illinois.

Scouting strongholds often have a rich scouting tradition and a strong support network that allows scouts to thrive and achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. These regions serve as an inspiration for other areas, demonstrating the positive impact that scouting can have on young men’s lives.

For more information on the geographic breakdown of Eagle Scouts, you can visit the official Boy Scouts of America website at There, you can find additional statistics, stories of success, and resources for scouts and scout leaders.


While many Boy Scouts dream of one day earning the prestigious Eagle Scout rank, only a select few persevere through the challenges. Through consistently meeting high standards, approximately 2.5 million Scouts have achieved this ultimate honor since 1912.

The Eagle Scout rank remains a recognized benchmark of character, dedication, and well-rounded adulthood.

This proud tradition continues today, as tens of thousands more work toward adding their names to the esteemed list of Eagles. The positive impact Eagle Scouts make in communities across America reminds us of the timeless values embedded in Scouting’s highest rank.

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