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 indicator) 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 12.1 percent in 1990 to 6.5 percent in 2014, with most of the decline occurring after 2000 (when it was 10.9 percent). However, there was no measurable difference between the 2013 rate and the 2014 rate.
Between 1990 and 2014, the male status dropout rate declined from 12.3 to 7.1 percent, with nearly the entire decline occurring after 2000 (when it was 12.0 percent). For females, the rate declined from 11.8 percent in 1990 to 9.9 percent in 2000, and then decreased further to 5.9 percent in 2014. In 2014, the status dropout rate was higher for males than for females.
In each year from 1990 to 2014, the status dropout rate was lower for White youth than for Black youth, and the rates for both White and Black youth were lower than the rate for Hispanic youth. During this period, the status dropout rate declined from 9.0 to 5.2 percent for White youth; from 13.2 to 7.4 percent for Black youth; and from 32.4 to 10.6 percent for Hispanic youth. As a result, the gap between White and Hispanic youth narrowed from 23.4 percentage points in 1990 to 5.3 percentage points in 2014. Most of this gap was narrowed between 2000 and 2014, when the gap between White and Hispanic youth declined from 20.9 to 5.3 percentage points. Although the rates for both White and Black youth declined from 1990 to 2014, the gap between the rates in 2014 did not measurably differ from the gap between the rates in 1990. However, the White-Black gap narrowed from 6.2 percentage points in 2000 to 2.2 percentage points in 2014.
Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 1990 through 2014
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. (2016). The Condition of Education 2016 (NCES 2016-144), Status Dropout Rates.
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