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Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2006

NCES 2008-053
September 2008


Table 1.  Event dropout rates and number and distribution of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 10–12, by selected background characteristics: October 2006
 
Characteristic Event dropout rate (percent)   Number of event dropouts (thousands)   Population enrolled1 (thousands) Percent of all dropouts   Percent of population enrolled
Total  3.8   407   10,849 100.0   100.0
                 
Sex                 
Male  4.1   227   5,472 55.7   50.4
Female  3.4   180   5,377 44.3   49.6
                 
Race/ethnicity2                 
White, non-Hispanic  2.9   200   6,826 49.1   62.9
Black, non-Hispanic  3.8   57   1,488 13.9   13.7
Hispanic  7.0   124   1,763 30.4   16.2
Asian/Pacific Islander,                 
non-Hispanic  4.1 ! 19 ! 457 4.5 ! 4.2
More than one race  3.1 ! 8 ! 260 2.0 ! 2.4
                 
Family income3                 
Low income  9.0   125   1,387 30.7   12.8
Middle income  3.5   218   6,271 53.6   57.8
High income  2.0   64   3,191 15.6   29.4
                 
Age4                 
15–16  2.0   67   3,288 16.5   30.3
17  2.7   100   3,651 24.5   33.7
18  4.5   128   2,875 31.5   26.5
19  6.8   52   760 12.8   7.0
20–24  21.8   60   276 14.8   2.5
                 
Recency of immigration                 
Born outside the 50 states and                 
District of Columbia                 
Hispanic  10.0   45   448 11.0   4.1
Non-Hispanic  2.5 ! 10 ! 415 2.5 ! 3.8
First generation5                 
Hispanic  6.9   53   764 12.9   7.0
Non-Hispanic  4.7   41   871 10.0   8.0
Second generation or higher5                 
Hispanic  4.8 ! 27 ! 551 6.5 ! 5.1
Non-Hispanic  3.0   232   7,800 57.1   71.9
                 
Region                 
Northeast  2.9   58   1,965 14.2   18.1
Midwest  1.8   47   2,531 11.4   23.3
South  4.1   155   3,802 38.2   35.0
West  5.8   147   2,550 36.2   23.5
! Interpret data with caution. Due to relatively large standard errors, estimates are unstable.
1 This is an estimate of the population of 15- through 24-year-olds enrolled during the previous year in high school based on the number of students still enrolled in the current year and the number of students who either graduated or dropped out the previous year.
2 Respondents were able to identify themselves as being “more than one race.” The White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic categories consist of individuals who considered themselves to be one race and who did not identify as Hispanic. Non-Hispanics who identified themeselves as multiracial are included in the “more than one race” category. The Hispanic category consists of Hispanics of all races and racial combinations. Due to small sample size, the American Indians/Alaska Natives are included in the total but are not shown separately.
3 Low income is defined as the bottom 20 percent of all family incomes for 2006; middle income is between 20 and 80 percent of all family incomes; and high income is the top 20 percent of all family incomes.
4 Age when a person dropped out may be 1 year younger, because the dropout event could occur at any time over a 12-month period.
5 Individuals defined as “first generation” were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia, and one or both of their parents were born outside the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Individuals defined as “second generation or higher” were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia, as were both of their parents.
NOTE: The event dropout rate indicates the percentage of youth ages 15 through 24 who dropped out of grades 10–12 between one October and the next (e.g., October 2005 to October 2006). Dropping out is defined as leaving school without a high school diploma or equivalent credential, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October 2006.

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