Across the United States, a total of 2,892,351 public school students received a high school diploma in 2006–07, resulting in an averaged freshman graduation rate (AFGR) of 73.9 percent (table 1). This rate ranged from 52.0 percent in Nevada to 88.6 percent in Vermont. Sixteen states had rates of 80.0 percent or higher. Twelve states and the District of Columbia had rates below 70.0 percent.
Across all reporting states, the Average Freshmen Graduation Rate (AFGR) was highest for Asian/Pacific Islander students (91.4 percent) (table 2). The rates for other groups of students were 80.3 percent for White, non-Hispanic students, 62.3 percent for Hispanic students, 61.3 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students,1 and 60.3 percent for Black, non-Hispanic students.
A comparison of data from 2006–07 with data from the prior school year, 2005–06, shows a percentage point or greater increase in the Average Freshmen Graduation Rate (AFGR) for 18 states (table 3). The AFGR decreased by a percentage point or more for seven states during that same time period. In the remaining 23 states for which a comparison was possible the change was within a 1 percentage point margin. The District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina did not report graduates for the 2005–06 school year, thus a comparison between the 2006–07 and 2005–06 was not possible.
There were 617,948 dropouts from high school (grades 9 through 12) among 48 reporting states and the District of Columbia in 2006–07 (table 4). The overall event dropout rate was 4.4 percent; the rate ranged from 2.0 percent in New Jersey to 7.6 percent in Arizona. Twenty-seven states had event high school dropout rates of 4 percent or less; 6 states and the District of Columbia had event high school dropout rates of 6 percent or more.
Among the reporting states and the District of Columbia, the dropout rates increased as grade level increased (table 5). Thus, the lowest dropout rate was for grade 9 (3.4 percent) followed by grade 10 (3.7 percent), grade 11 (4.2 percent), and grade 12 (6.5 percent).
Among the states that were able to report high school dropouts by race/ethnicity and the District of Columbia, the dropout rate was lowest for Asian/Pacific Islanders at 2.6 percent (table 6). The dropout rate for White, non-Hispanic was 3.0 percent. The dropout rate for the other 3 race/ethnicity subgroups were all greater than 6 percent, with the Hispanic dropout rate at 6.5 percent, the Black, non-Hispanic dropout rate at 6.8 percent, and the American Indian/Alaskan Native dropout rate at 7.6 percent.
Among the 46 states for which comparisons between 2005–06 and 2006–07 could be made, the event dropout rate increased by a tenth of a percentage point or more for 17 states, decreased by a tenth of a percentage point or more for 21 states, and remained the same for the remaining 8 states (table 7).2
Across the 46 states that were able to report high school dropouts by gender, the dropout rate was higher for males than for females at 4.9 percent and 3.8 percent respectively (table 8). This difference was also found in each state with the male-female gap ranging between 0.4 in Alaska and Oklahoma and 2.9 in Louisiana.
NOTE: Tables include data for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and other jurisdictions. However, the findings discussed in this report
are limited to the reporting states and the District of Columbia and do not include any of the other jurisdictions. 1 The rate for American Indians/Alaskan Natives excludes students served in schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education. 2 Caution should be taken when interpreting these data. Changes in the dropout data may reflect a real change or they could reflect an increased ability to identify students who dropped out.