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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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Graphical Representation of Table
Executive Summary
Status Dropout Rates
Over the last decade, between 347,000 and 544,000 10th- through 12th-grade students left school each year without successfully completing a high school program (table B1). Status dropout rates represent the proportion of young adults ages 16 through 24 who are out of school and who have not earned a high school credential. Status rates are higher than event rates because they include all dropouts in this age range, regardless of when they last attended school.
  • In October 1999, some 3.8 million young adults were not enrolled in a high school program and had not completed high school. These youths accounted for 11.2 percent of the 34.1 million 16- through 24-year-olds in the United States in 1999 (table A, figure A, and table 3). As noted with event rates, this estimate is consistent with the estimates reported over the last 10 years, but lower than those reported in the early 1970s.

  • The status dropout rate of whites remains lower than that of blacks, but over the past quarter of a century, the difference between the rates of whites and blacks has narrowed (figure 2). In addition, Hispanic young adults in the United States continue to have a higher status dropout rate than whites or blacks (figure 2).

  • In 1999, the status dropout rate for Asian/Pacific Islander young adults was 4.3 percent compared with 28.6 percent for Hispanics, 12.6 percent for blacks, and 7.3 percent for whites (table 3).

  • In 1999, 44.2 percent of Hispanic young adults born outside of the United States were high school dropouts. Hispanic young adults born inside the United States were much less likely to be dropouts. However, when looking at just those young adults born in the United States, Hispanic youths were still more likely to be dropouts than other young adults.

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