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Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 19722008

NCES 2011-012
December 2010


Table 2. Event dropout rates of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 1012, and number of dropouts and population of 15- through 24-year-olds who were enrolled: October 1972 through October 2008


Year2 Event
dropout rate
(percent)
Number of
event dropouts
(thousands)
Population
enrolled1
(thousands)
       
1972 6.1 647 10,550
1973 6.3 674 10,736
1974 6.7 735 10,894
1975 5.8 631 10,875
1976 5.9 641 10,844
       
1977 6.5 729 11,178
1978 6.7 739 11,012
1979 6.7 745 11,044
1980 6.1 655 10,758
1981 5.9 636 10,746
       
1982 5.5 573 10,435
1983 5.2 531 10,146
1984 5.1 504 9,828
1985 5.2 502 9,597
1986 4.7 462 9,828
       
1987 4.1 405 9,819
1988 4.8 460 9,613
1989 4.5 403 9,001
1990 4.0 347 8,675
1991 4.0 348 8,700
       
1992 4.4 383 8,716
1993 4.5 381 8,549
1994 5.3 497 9,374
1995 5.7 544 9,509
1996 5.0 485 9,612
       
1997 4.6 454 9,984
1998 4.8 479 10,079
1999 5.0 519 10,464
2000 4.8 488 10,126
2001 5.0 505 10,187
       
2002 3.6 367 10,254
2003 4.0 429 10,698
2004 4.7 486 10,385
2005 3.8 414 10,870
2006 3.8 407 10,849
       
2007 3.5 383 10,967
2008 3.5 390 11,058
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 Estimates beginning in 1987 reflect new editing procedures for cases with missing data on school enrollment items. Estimates beginning in 1992 reflect new wording of the educational attainment item. Estimates beginning in 1994 reflect changes due to newly instituted computer-assisted interviewing. For details about changes in the Current Population Survey (CPS) over time, please see Kaufman, P., Alt, M.N., and Chapman, C. (2004). Dropout Rates in the United States: 2001 (NCES 2005-046). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.
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 2007 to October 2008). Dropping out is defined as leaving school without a high school diploma or equivalent credential, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October 1972–2008.

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