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Dropout Rates in the United States: 2000

Event and Status Dropout Rates

Age and Sex

Data from the October 2000 CPS show that students who pursue a high school program beyond the traditional ages are at an increased risk of dropping out of school (table 1). Event dropout rates for younger students who were in the typical age range for high school enrollment (ages 15 through 18) were substantially lower than those of older students ages 19 through 24. Specifically, these rates were 2.9 percent for 15- and 16-year-olds, 3.5 percent for 17-year-olds, 6.1 percent for 18-year-olds, 9.6 percent for 19-year-olds, and 16.1 percent for 20- through 24-year-olds. Not only are older students more likely to drop out than younger students, but they also represent a disproportionate number of dropouts in 2000; students who were 19 through 24 accounted for 10.1 percent of students in the 15- through 24-year-old age group but 24.3 percent of the high school dropouts. These findings mirror those reported in previous NCES dropout reports.

About three-quarters (75.8 percent) of the current-year dropouts were ages 15 through 18. About two-fifths (42.0 percent) of all students who left school between October 1999 and October 2000 were ages 15, 16, and 17 in October 2000. These youths left school before reaching the typical age of school completion.

The dropout rates for males and females have not tended to differ significantly over the last 29 years (table C3). However, the event dropout rate for male students was somewhat higher than the rate for female students in 2000. Approximately 5.5 percent of males and 4.1 percent of females ages 15 through 24 enrolled in high school in October 1999 had dropped out of school by October 2000 (table 1).