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Indicators

Status Dropout Rates
(Last Updated: May 2020)

The overall status dropout rate decreased from 9.7 percent in 2006 to 5.3 percent in 2018. During this time, the Hispanic status dropout rate decreased from 21.0 to 8.0 percent, the Black status dropout rate decreased from 11.5 to 6.4 percent, and the White status dropout rate decreased from 6.4 to 4.2 percent. Nevertheless, in 2018, the Hispanic (8.0 percent) and Black (6.4 percent) status dropout rates remained higher than the White (4.2 percent) status dropout rate.

The status dropout rate 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 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).1 In 2018, there were 2.1 million status dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24, and the overall status dropout rate was 5.3 percent.


Figure 1. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2006 through 2018

Figure 1. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2006 through 2018

1 Includes other racial/ethnic categories not separately shown.
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 persons living in households, noninstitutionalized group quarters (including college and university housing, military quarters, facilities for workers and religious groups, and temporary shelters for the homeless), and institutionalized group quarters (including adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2006 through 2018. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, table 219.80.


The status dropout rate varied by race/ethnicity in 2018. The status dropout rate for Asian 16- to 24-year-olds (1.9 percent) was lower than the rates for their peers who were White (4.2 percent), of Two or more races (5.2 percent), Black (6.4 percent), Hispanic (8.0 percent), Pacific Islander (8.1 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (9.5 percent). In addition, the status dropout rate for those who were White was lower than that of every other racial/ethnic group except those who were Asian. The status dropout rate for those who were Hispanic was higher than that of most racial/ethnic groups, but was not measurably different from the rates for those who were Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native.

The overall status dropout rate decreased from 9.7 percent in 2006 to 5.3 percent in 2018. During this time, the status dropout rate declined for 16- to 24-year-olds who were Hispanic (from 21.0 to 8.0 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (from 15.1 to 9.5 percent), Black (from 11.5 to 6.4 percent), of Two or more races (from 7.8 to 5.2 percent), White (from 6.4 to 4.2 percent), and Asian (from 3.1 to 1.9 percent). In contrast, there was no measurable difference between the status dropout rate in 2006 and 2018 for those who were Pacific Islander.

In each year from 2006 to 2018, the status dropout rate for Hispanic 16- to 24-year-olds was higher than the rate for those who were Black, and the rates for both groups were higher than the rate for those who were White. Between 2006 and 2018, the gap in status dropout rates between those who were Hispanic and those who were White decreased from 14.6 percentage points to 3.8 percentage points and the gap between those who were Black and those who were White decreased from 5.2 percentage points to 2.1 percentage points. During the same period, the gap between those who were Hispanic and those who were Black decreased from 9.5 percentage points to 1.7 percentage points.


Figure 2. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2018

Figure 2. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2018

! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
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 persons living in households, noninstitutionalized group quarters (including college and university housing, military quarters, facilities for workers and religious groups, and temporary shelters for the homeless), and institutionalized group quarters (including adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care 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), 2018. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, table 219.80.


The status dropout rate was higher for male 16- to 24-year-olds than for female 16- to 24-year-olds overall (6.2 vs. 4.4 percent) and within most racial/ethnic groups in 2018. Status dropout rates were higher for males than for females among those who were White (4.8 vs. 3.6 percent), Black (7.8 vs. 4.9 percent), Hispanic (9.6 vs. 6.3 percent), Asian (2.3 vs. 1.6 percent), and of Two or more races (5.9 vs. 4.4 percent). However, there were no measurable differences in status dropout rates between males and females for those who were Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native. The size of the male-female gap also differed by race/ethnicity. The male-female gaps for those who were Hispanic (3.3 percentage points) and Black (2.9 percentage points) were higher than the male-female gaps for those who were of Two or more races (1.6 percentage points), White (1.1 percentage points), and Asian (0.7 percentage points).


Figure 3. Status dropout rates of U.S.-born and foreign-born 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2018

Figure 3. Status dropout rates of U.S.-born and foreign-born 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2018

! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
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 persons living in households, noninstitutionalized group quarters (including college and university housing, military quarters, facilities for workers and religious groups, and temporary shelters for the homeless), and institutionalized group quarters (including adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2018. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, table 219.80.


Overall, U.S.-born 16- to 24-year-olds2 had a lower status dropout rate in 2018 than their foreign-born peers (4.9 vs. 8.6 percent). Differences in status dropout rates between U.S.- and foreign-born individuals varied by race/ethnicity. The status dropout rate for Hispanic individuals born in the United States was 8.3 percentage points lower than the rate for their peers born outside of the United States (6.2 and 14.6 percent, respectively). The status dropout rate for Asian individuals born in the United States was 1.2 percentage points lower than the rate for their peers born outside of the United States (1.3 and 2.5 percent, respectively). However, White individuals born in the United States had a higher status dropout rate (4.3 percent) than did their peers born outside of the United States (3.3 percent). The status dropout rates for U.S.-born individuals who were Black, Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and of Two or more races were not measurably different from the rates for their foreign-born peers.


Figure 4. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and noninstitutionalized or institutionalized status: 2018

Figure 4. Status dropout rates of 16- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and noninstitutionalized or institutionalized status: 2018

! 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 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.
3 Includes persons living in institutionalized group quarters, including adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities.
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 persons living in households, noninstitutionalized group quarters, and institutionalized group quarters. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2018. See Digest of Education Statistics 2019, table 219.80.


In 2018, the status dropout rate was lower for 16- to 24-year-olds living in households and noninstitutionalized group quarters such as college or military housing (5.1 percent) than for those living in institutionalized group quarters such as correctional or health care facilities (32.2 percent). The status dropout rate was also lower for noninstitutionalized individuals than for institutionalized individuals in the following racial/ethnic groups: White (4.1 vs. 24.3 percent), Black (5.5 vs. 37.2 percent), Hispanic (7.7 vs. 35.9 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (9.0 vs. 30.4 percent), and of Two or more races (4.9 vs. 28.0 percent).

The status dropout rate also differed by disability status3 in 2018. The status dropout rate was 11.7 percent for 16- to 24-year-olds with a disability compared with 4.9 percent for 16- to 24-year-olds without a disability.


1 More specifically, institutionalized group quarters include adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities. Noninstitutionalized group quarters include college and university housing, military quarters, facilities for workers and religious groups, and temporary shelters for the homeless.
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 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.


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