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Dropout Rates in the United States: 2001

Christopher D. Chapman




Status Completion Rates

Status completion rates measure the percentage of a given population that has a high school credential, regardless of when the credential was earned. Using data from the CPS, status completion rates are presented that show the percentage of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who hold a high school credential. Credentials include regular and alternative diplomas as well as equivalent credentials such as the General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Those still enrolled in high school are excluded from the equation.3

  • In 2001, 86.5 percent of 18- through 24-year-olds not enrolled in elementary or secondary school had completed high school. Between 1972 and 1990, status completion rates increased by 2.8 percentage points from 82.8 percent in 1972 to 85.6 percent in 1990; since 1991, the rate has shown no consistent trend and has fluctuated between 84.8 and 86.5 percent (figure 3 and table A7).

  • High school status completion rates for White and Black young adults increased between the early 1970s and 1990 but have remained relatively flat since 1990. In 2001, 91.0 percent of White and 85.6 percent of Black 18- through 24-year-olds had completed high school (tables A and A7 and figure 3).

  • Whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders in 2001 were more likely than their Black and Hispanic peers to have completed high school (tables A and figure 3).

3Status completion rates and status dropout rates presented in this report are not complementary. The status completion rates exclude those still enrolled in high school or below while the status dropout rates account for these individuals. They are also based on different age groups.