Between 2002–03 and 2015–16, the number of high school graduates is projected to increase nationally by 6 percent. Increases are expected in the West and South and decreases are expected in the Northeast and Midwest. Both public and private schools are expected to have increases in high school graduates.
Projected increases in the number of graduates reflect changes in the 18-year-old population over the projection period, rather than changes in the graduation rates of 12th-graders. However, projections of graduates could be impacted by changes in policies affecting graduation requirements.