Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in official Honor Society activities. NHS and NJHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.
There are five main purposes have guided chapters of NJHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership; to encourage responsible citizenship; and to develop character in the students of secondary schools. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.