What are the dropout rates of high school students?
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 overall status dropout rate decreased from 10.9 percent in 2000 to 6.1 percent in 2016. More recently, from 2010 to 2016, the status dropout rate fell from 7.4 to 6.1 percent. Between 2000 and 2016, the male status dropout rate declined from 12.0 to 7.1 percent, and the female status dropout rate declined from 9.9 to 5.1 percent. The 2016 status dropout rate was 2.0 percentage points higher for male youth than for female youth.
In each year from 2000 to 2016, the status dropout rates for White youth and Black youth were lower than the rate for Hispanic youth. During this time, the status dropout rate for White youth was also lower than the rate for Black youth in every year except 2016, when there was no measurable difference between the two rates. From 2000 to 2016, the status dropout rate declined from 6.9 to 5.2 percent for White youth, from 13.1 to 6.2 percent for Black youth, and from 27.8 to 8.6 percent for Hispanic youth. As a result, the gap between White and Black youth was 6.2 percentage points in 2000 but no longer statistically significant in 2016, and the gap between White and Hispanic youth narrowed from 20.9 percentage points in 2000 to 3.4 percentage points in 2016.
Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2000 through 2016
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 the military and persons living in institutions (e.g., prisons or nursing facilities). 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. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018 (NCES 2018-144), Status Dropout Rates.
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