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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Indicator 3.3: Dropout Rates

Figure 3.3. Percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who were high school dropouts, by race/ ethnicity: Selected years, 1990 to 2003
Percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who were high school dropouts, by race/ ethnicity: Selected years, 1990 to 2003
NOTE: The data presented here represent status dropout rates, which is the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are out of school and who have not earned a high school credential. The status dropout rate includes all dropouts regardless of when they last attended school, as well as individuals who may have never attended school in the U.S. such as immigrants who did not complete a high school diploma in their home country. Another way of calculating dropout rates is the event dropout rate, which is the percentage of 15- to 24-yearolds who dropped out of grades 10 through 12 in the 12 months preceding the fall of each data collection year. Interpret data for American Indians/Alaska Natives with caution.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, October Current Population Surveys (CPS), 1990 to 2003

American Indian/Alaska Native youth and young adults are more likely to have dropped out of school than White or Asian/Pacific Islander youth and young adults.

Young adults who do not finish high school are more likely to be unemployed and earn less when they are employed than those who complete high school (U.S. Department of Education 1999, 2001). This indicator looks at the status dropout rate, the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are out of school and who have not earned a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential.7

In 2003, this measure was 15 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, higher than the 6 percent for Whites and 4 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders. Although the estimate for American Indians/Alaska Natives appears to be higher than the rate for Blacks, the difference is not significant due to the large standard error for American Indians/Alaska Natives. However, American Indian/Alaska Native youth and young adults were less likely to have dropped out than Hispanics (15 percent vs. 24 percent). Between 1990 and 2003, the estimates for American Indians/Alaska Natives have fluctuated, showing no consistent trend.

View Table View Table 3.3



7 The status dropout rate includes all dropouts regardless of when they last attended school, as well as individuals who may have never attended school in the United States, such as immigrants who did not complete a high school diploma in their home country.


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