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Executive Summary  
Event and Status Dropout Rates  
Type of Dropout Rates        
Event Dropout Rates        
Status Dropout Rates        
High School Completion Rates  
High School Completion Rates        
Method of High School Completion        
Text Tables and Figures  
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Executive Summary
This report is the twelfth in a series of National Center for Education Statistics reports on high school dropout and completion rates. It presents data on rates in 1999, the most recent year for which data are available, and includes time series data on high school dropout and completion rates for the period 1972 through 1999. In addition to extending time series data reported in earlier years, this report examines the characteristics of high school dropouts and high school completers in 1999.

Event Dropout Rates
Event dropout rates for 1999 describe the proportion of youth ages 15 through 24 who dropped out of grades 10-12 in the 12 months preceding October 1999. Demographic data collected in the Current Population Survey (CPS) permit event dropout rates to be calculated across various individual characteristics, including race/ethnicity, sex, region of residence, and income level.

  • Five out of every 100 young adults enrolled in high school in October 1998 left school before October 1999 without successfully completing a high school program. This estimate was similar to the estimates reported over the last 10 years, but lower than those reported in the early 1970s (table A, figure A, table 1 and table A-7).

  • Hispanic students were more likely than white students to leave school before completing a high school program: in 1999, 7.8 percent of Hispanic students were event dropouts, compared with 4.0 percent of white students. However, the event dropout rate of white students was not significantly different from those of black students (6.5 percent) or Asian students (5.0 percent)(table 1).

  • In 1999, young adults living in families with incomes in the lowest 20 percent of all family incomes were five times as likely as their peers from families in the top 20 percent of the income distribution to drop out of high school (table 1).

  • Although dropout rates were highest among students age 19 or older, about two-thirds (67.3 percent) of the current-year dropouts were ages 15 through 18; moreover, about two-fifths (43.2 percent) of the 1999 dropouts were ages 15 through 17 (table 1).

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