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Annual Reports and Information Staff (Annual Reports)
Preprimary, Elementary, and Secondary Education

Status Dropout Rates

(Last Updated: May 2021)

The overall status dropout rate decreased from 8.3 percent in 2010 to 5.1 percent in 2019. During this time, the Hispanic status dropout rate decreased from 16.7 to 7.7 percent, the Black status dropout rate decreased from 10.3 to 5.6 percent, and the White status dropout rate decreased from 5.3 to 4.1 percent. Nevertheless, in 2019, the Hispanic (7.7 percent) and Black (5.6 percent) status dropout rates remained higher than the White (4.1 percent) status dropout rate.

The status dropout rate1 represents 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). In 2019, there were 2.0 million status dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24, and the overall status dropout rate was 5.1 percent.

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Figure 1. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2010 through 2019
Figure 1. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2010 through 2019

1 Includes respondents who wrote in some other race that was not included as an option on the questionnaire.

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 entire population residing within the United States, including both noninstitutionalized persons (e.g., those living in households, college housing, or military housing located within the United States) and institutionalized persons (e.g., those living in prisons, nursing facilities, or other healthcare facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2010 through 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 219.80.

Figure 2. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2019
Figure 2. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2019

1 Includes respondents who wrote in some other race that was not included as an option on the questionnaire.

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 entire population residing within the United States, including both noninstitutionalized persons (e.g., those living in households, college housing, or military housing located within the United States) and institutionalized persons (e.g., those living in prisons, nursing facilities, or other healthcare facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 219.80.

Figure 3. Status dropout rates of U.S.- and foreign-born 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2019
Figure 3. Status dropout rates of U.S.- and foreign-born 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2019

!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.

‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.

1 Includes respondents who wrote in some other race that was not included as an option on the questionnaire.

2 Includes those born in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas, as well as those born abroad to U.S.-citizen parents.

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 entire population residing within the United States, including both noninstitutionalized persons (e.g., those living in households, college housing, or military housing located within the United States) and institutionalized persons (e.g., those living in prisons, nursing facilities, or other healthcare facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 219.80.

Figure 4. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by institutionalized status and disability status: 2019
Figure 4. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by institutionalized status and disability status: 2019

1 Includes persons living in households as well as persons living in noninstitutionalized group quarters. Noninstitutionalized group quarters include college and university housing, military quarters, facilities for workers and religious groups, and temporary shelters for the homeless.

2 Includes persons living in institutionalized group quarters, including adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities.

3 A disability is a long-lasting physical, mental, or emotional condition that can make it difficult for a person to do activities such as walking, climbing stairs, dressing, bathing, learning, or remembering. The condition can also impede a person from being able to go outside the home alone or to work at a job or business. For more details, see https://www.census.gov/topics/health/disability/about/glossary.html.

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 entire population residing within the United States, including both noninstitutionalized persons (e.g., those living in households, college housing, or military housing located within the United States) and institutionalized persons (e.g., those living in prisons, nursing facilities, or other healthcare facilities). Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 219.80.


1 In this indicator, status dropout rates are based on data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is an annual survey that covers a broad population, including individuals living in households as well as individuals living in noninstitutionalized group quarters (such as college or military housing) and institutionalized group quarters (such as correctional or health care facilities). More specifically, noninstitutionalized group quarters include college and university housing, military quarters, facilities for workers and religious groups, and temporary shelters for the homeless. Institutionalized group quarters include adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities.

2 U.S.-born 16- to 24-year-olds include those born in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas, as well as those born abroad to U.S.-citizen parents.

3 American Indian/Alaska Native 16- to 24-year-olds are excluded from this analysis because either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.

4 Pacific Islander 16- to 24-year-olds are excluded from this analysis because either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.

5 In this indicator, a disability is a long-lasting physical, mental, or emotional condition that can make it difficult for a person to do activities such as walking, climbing stairs, dressing, bathing, learning, or remembering. The condition can also impede a person from being able to go outside the home alone or to work at a job or business. For more details, see https://www.census.gov/topics/health/disability/about/glossary.html.

Supplemental Information

Table 219.80 (Digest 2020): Total number 16- to 24-year-old high school dropouts (status dropouts) and percentage of dropouts among persons 16 to 24 years old (status dropout rate), by selected characteristics: 2007 through 2019
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Status Dropout Rates – May 2020
Status Dropout Rates – May 2019
Status Dropout Rates – May 2018
Status Dropout Rates – May 2017
Status Dropout Rates – May 2016
Status Dropout Rates – May 2015
Status Dropout Rates – January 2014
Status Dropout Rates – January 2013
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