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Dropout rates

Question:
What are the dropout rates of high school students?

Response:
The status dropout rate represents the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds (referred to as youth in this Fast Fact) who are not enrolled in school and have not earned a high school credential (either a diploma or an equivalency credential such as a GED certificate).

Based on data from the Current Population Survey, the status dropout rate decreased from 10.9 percent in 2000 to 5.9 percent in 2015. Over the most recent 5-year period, from 2010 to 2015, the status dropout rate fell from 7.4 to 5.9 percent. Between 2000 and 2015, the male status dropout rate declined from 12.0 to 6.3 percent, and the female status dropout rate declined from 9.9 to 5.4 percent. While the rate for male youth was 2.1 percentage points higher than the rate for female youth in 2000, there was no measurable difference between the rates for males and females in 2015.

In each year from 2000 to 2015, the status dropout rate was lower for White youth than for Black youth, and the rates for both groups were lower than the rate for Hispanic youth. During this period, the status dropout rate declined from 6.9 to 4.6 percent for White youth; from 13.1 to 6.5 percent for Black youth; and from 27.8 to 9.2 percent for Hispanic youth. As a result, the gap between White and Black youth narrowed from 6.2 percentage points in 2000 to 1.9 percentage points in 2015. The gap between White and Hispanic youth narrowed from 20.9 percentage points in 2000 to 4.6 percentage points in 2015.


Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 1990 through 2015

NOTE: The "status dropout rate" is the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and have not earned a high school credential (either a diploma or an equivalency credential such as a GED certificate). Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, which excludes persons in prisons, persons in the military, and other persons not living in households. Data for all races include other racial/ethnic categories not separately shown. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). The Condition of Education 2017 (NCES 2017-144), Status Dropout Rates.

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