Across the United States, a total of 3,128,022 public school students received a high school diploma in 2009–10, resulting in a calculated Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) of 78.2 percent (table 1). This rate ranged from 57.8 percent in Nevada and 59.9 percent in the District of Columbia to 91.1 in Wisconsin and 91.4 percent in Vermont. The median state AFGR was 78.6 percent.
Across the United States, the AFGR was highest for Asian/Pacific Islander students (93.5 percent) (table 2). The rates for other groups were 83.0 percent for White students, 71.4 percent for Hispanic students, 69.1 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students, 3and 66.1 percent for Black students.3
A comparison of data from 2009–10 to data from the prior school year, 2008–09, shows a percentage point or greater increase in the AFGR for 38 states (table 3). The AFGR decreased by a percentage point or more for only the District of Columbia during that same time period.
Across the United States, a total of 514,238 public school students dropped out of grades 9–12, resulting in a calculated overall event dropout rate of 3.4 percent in 2009–10 (table 4). New Hampshire and Idaho had the lowest event dropout rates at 1.2 and 1.4 percent, respectively, while Mississippi and Arizona had the highest at 7.4 and 7.8 percent, respectively. The median state dropout rate was 3.4 percent.
Across the United States, the calculated dropout rates increased as grade-level increased (table 5). This pattern was also true for 24 states. The lowest dropout rate was for grade 9 (2.6 percent) while the highest grade-level dropout rate was for grade 12 (5.1 percent).
Across the United States, the calculated dropout rate was the lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander students at 1.9 percent and White students at 2.3 percent (table 6). The dropout rates for American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, and Hispanic students were 6.7, 5.5, and 5.0 percent respectively.
Comparisons between high school dropout rates in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 school years showed a decrease of a percentage point or more in Delaware, Illinois and Louisiana (table 7). An increase by the same margin or greater was also found in three states; Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Across the United States the dropout rate was higher for males than for females at 3.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively (table 8). The dropout rate was higher among males in every state. The male-female gap ranged from lows of 0.2 percentage points in Idaho to highs of 1.7 in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
2 United States totals include the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Because the findings are based on universe survey data, no statistical tests were conducted. All rates (i.e., Averaged Freshman Graduation Rates (AFGR) and event dropout rates) are calculated based on counts of diploma recipients, dropouts, and student enrollments reported by state education agencies. Diploma counts for Connecticut and dropout counts for the District of Columbia are imputed. 3 The rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives excludes students served in schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education. Race categories exclude Hispanic origin.