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Dropout Rates in the United States: 2004

NCES 2007-024
November 2006

Table 1. Event dropout rates and number and distribution of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 10–12, by selected background characteristics: October 2004
Characteristic Event
  Number of
of all
  Percent of
  Total4.7486 10,385 100.0100.0
Male5.1266 5,252 54.750.6
Female4.3220 5,133 45.349.4
White, non-Hispanic3.7245 6,649 50.464.0
Black, non-Hispanic5.784 1,476 17.314.2
Hispanic8.9138 1,546 28.314.9
Asian/Pacific Islander,
1.2!5! 422 1.1!4.1
More than one race4.9!11! 215 2.2!2.1
Family income3
Low income10.41361,30328.012.5
Middle income4.62735,98756.157.7
High income2.5773,09515.929.8
15–164.0128 3,165 26.330.5
173.1108 3,513 22.133.8
184.1109 2,647 22.425.5
197.658 762 11.97.3
20–2428.284 298 17.32.9
Northeast3.877 2,055 15.919.8
Midwest3.177 2,504 15.824.1
South5.4189 3,475 38.933.5
West6.1143 2,351 29.422.6
! Interpret data with caution. Due to relatively large standard errors, estimates are unstable.

1 This is an estimate of the population of 15- through 24-year-olds enrolled during the previous year in high school based on the number of students still enrolled in the current year and the number of students who either graduated or dropped out the previous year.

2 Beginning in 2003, respondents were able to identify themselves as being “more than one race.” The White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic categories consist of individuals who considered themselves to be one race and who did not identify as Hispanic. Non-Hispanics who identified as multiracial are included in the “more than one race” category. The Hispanic category consists of Hispanics of all races and racial combinations. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives are included in the total but are not shown separately.

3 Low income is defined as the bottom 20 percent of all family incomes for 2004; middle income is between 20 and 80 percent of all family incomes; and high income is the top 20 percent of all family incomes.

4 Age when a person dropped out may be 1 year younger, because the dropout event could occur at any time over a 12-month period.

NOTE: The event dropout rate indicates percentage of youth ages 15 through 24 who dropped out of grades 10–12 between one October and the next (e.g., October 2003 to October 2004). Dropping out is defined as leaving school without a high school diploma or equivalent credential such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Detail may not add to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October 2004.