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Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2007

NCES 2009-064
September 2009


Table 1. Event dropout rates and number and distribution of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 1012, by selected characteristics: October 2007


Characteristic Event
dropout
rate
(percent)
  Number of
event
dropouts
(thousands)
  Population
enrolled1
(thousands)
Percent
of all
dropouts
  Percent of
population
enrolled
                 
Total 3.5   383   10,967 100.0   100.0
                 
Sex                
Male 3.7   206   5,548 53.8   50.6
Female 3.3   177   5,419 46.2   49.4
                 
Race/ethnicity2                
White, non-Hispanic 2.2   155   6,955 40.5   63.4
Black, non-Hispanic 4.5   74   1,627 19.3   14.8
Hispanic 6.0   99   1,635 25.7   14.9
Asian/Pacific Islander,
non-Hispanic
7.5   31   407 8.0   3.7
                 
Family income3                
Low income 8.8   132   1,503 34.5   13.7
Middle income 3.5   223   6,351 58.2   57.9
High income 0.9   28   3,113 7.3   28.4
                 
Age4                
15–16 3.2   101   3,177 26.4   29.0
17 2.1   82   3,870 21.4   35.3
18 4.0   113   2,832 29.4   25.8
19 4.1   34   823 8.8   7.5
20–24 20.3   54   266 14.1   2.4
                 
Recency of immigration                
Born outside the 50 states and
District of Columbia
               
Hispanic 10.1   40   399 10.5   3.6
Non-Hispanic 7.3   34   458 8.8   4.2
First generation5                
Hispanic 4.0   30   743 7.8   6.8
Non-Hispanic 1.7 ! 13 ! 801 3.5 ! 7.3
Second generation or higher5                
Hispanic 5.7   28   493 7.4   4.5
Non-Hispanic 2.9   238   8,073 62.0   73.6
Region                
Northeast 2.9   58   2,007 15.2   18.3
Midwest 3.1   82   2,642 21.4   24.1
South 3.6   135   3,757 35.2   34.3
West 4.2   108   2,560 28.1   23.3
! 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 “two or more races.” 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 themselves as multiracial are included in the “two or more races” category. The Hispanic category consists of Hispanics of all races and racial combinations. Due to small sample size, the American Indians/Alaska Natives and those who identified themselves as being more than two races, but not Hispanic 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 2007; 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 2006 to October 2007). 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 2007.

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