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

NCES 2011-012
December 2010


Table 4. Event dropout rates of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 1012, by family income: October 1972 through October 2008


  Total (percent)   Family income (percent)1
Year2   Low income Middle income High income
           
1972 6.1   14.1 6.7 2.5
1973 6.3   17.3 7.0 1.8
1974 6.7  
1975 5.8   15.7 6.0 2.6
1976 5.9   15.4 6.8 2.1
           
1977 6.5   15.5 7.6 2.2
1978 6.7   17.4 7.3 3.0
1979 6.7   17.1 6.9 3.6
1980 6.1   15.8 6.4 2.5
1981 5.9   14.4 6.2 2.8
           
1982 5.5   15.2 5.6 1.8
1983 5.2   10.4 6.0 2.2
1984 5.1   13.9 5.1 1.8
1985 5.2   14.2 5.2 2.1
1986 4.7   10.9 5.1 1.6
           
1987 4.1   10.3 4.7 1.0
1988 4.8   13.7 4.7 1.3
1989 4.5   10.0 5.0 1.1
1990 4.0   9.5 4.3 1.1
1991 4.0   10.6 4.0 1.0
           
1992 4.4   10.9 4.4 1.3
1993 4.5   12.3 4.3 1.3
1994 5.3   13.0 5.2 2.1
1995 5.7   13.3 5.7 2.0
1996 5.0   11.1 5.1 2.1
           
1997 4.6   12.3 4.1 1.8
1998 4.8   12.7 3.8 2.7
1999 5.0   11.0 5.0 2.1
2000 4.8   10.0 5.2 1.6
2001 5.0   10.7 5.4 1.7
           
2002 3.6   7.7 3.6 1.7
2003 4.0   7.5 4.6 1.4
2004 4.7   10.4 4.6 2.5
2005 3.8   8.9 3.8 1.5
2006 3.8   9.0 3.5 2.0
           
2007 3.5   8.8 3.5 0.9
2008 3.5   8.7 3.0 2.0
— Not available.
1 Low income is defined as the bottom 20 percent of all family incomes for the year; middle income is between 20 and 80 percent of all family incomes; and high income is the top 20 percent of all family incomes.
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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