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Dropout Rates in the United States: 2005
NCES 2007-059
June 2007

Table 1.  Event dropout rates and number and distribution of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 1012, by selected background characteristics: October 2005

Characteristic Event
Number of
of all
Percent of
Total3.8414 10,870 100.0100.0
Male4.2233 5,515 56.350.7
Female3.4181 5,355 43.749.3
White, non–Hispanic2.8!196 6,897 47.363.5
Black, non–Hispanic7.3112 1,538 27.214.1
Hispanic5.086 1,717 20.815.8
Asian/Pacific Islander,
1.6!6! 411 1.5!3.8
More than one race4.9!12! 241 2.9!2.2!
Family income3
Low income8.9 137 1,544 33.114.2
Middle income3.8 228 5,990 55.255.1
High income1.5 49 3,326 11.730.6
15–162.172 3,347 17.430.8
172.493 3,797 22.534.9
183.9105 2,693 25.324.8
199.164 702 15.46.5
20–2424.481 331 19.53.0
Recency of immigration
Born outside the 50 states and District of Columbia
Hispanic5.925 418 6.03.8
Non–Hispanic5.022 440 5.34.0
First generation5
Hispanic5.540 738 9.86.8
Non–Hispanic1.2!9! 759 2.27.0
Second generation or higher5
Hispanic3.7!21! 562 5.05.2
Non–Hispanic3.7297 7,954 71.873.2
Northeast3.879 2,074 19.119.1
Midwest3.180 2,570 19.423.6
South4.4165 3,754 39.934.5
West3.690 2,472 21.722.7
! Interpret data with caution. Because of 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 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. Because of 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 2005; 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.
5 Individuals defined as “first generation” were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia, and one or both of their parents were born outside the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Individuals defined as “second generation or higher” were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia, as were both of their parents.
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 2004 to October 2005). 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 2005.