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

Table 3.  Event dropout rates of 15- through 24-year-olds who dropped out of grades 1012, by sex and race/ethnicity: October 1972 through October 2005

Year1 Total
(percent)
      Race/ethnicity (percent)2
Sex (percent) White,
non–
Hispanic
Black,
non–
Hispanic
Hispanic
Male Female
                 
1972 6.1   5.9 6.3   5.3 9.5 11.2
1973 6.3   6.8 5.7   5.5 9.9 10.0
1974 6.7   7.4 6.0   5.8 11.6 9.9
1975 5.8   5.4 6.1   5.0 8.7 10.9
1976 5.9   6.6 5.2   5.6 7.4 7.3
                 
1977 6.5   6.9 6.1   6.1 8.6 7.8
1978 6.7   7.5 5.9   5.8 10.2 12.3
1979 6.7   6.8 6.7   6.0 9.9 9.8
1980 6.1   6.7 5.5   5.2 8.2 11.7
1981 5.9   6.0 5.8   4.8 9.7 10.7
                 
1982 5.5   5.8 5.1   4.7 7.8 9.2
1983 5.2   5.8 4.7   4.4 7.0 10.1
1984 5.1   5.4 4.8   4.4 5.7 11.1
1985 5.2   5.4 5.0   4.3 7.8 9.8
1986 4.7   4.7 4.7   3.7 5.4 11.9
                 
1987 4.1   4.3 3.8   3.5 6.4 5.4 !
1988 4.8   5.1 4.4   4.2 5.9 10.4
1989 4.5   4.5 4.5   3.5 7.8 7.8 !
1990 4.0   4.0 3.9   3.3 5.0 7.9
1991 4.1   3.8 4.2   3.2 6.0 7.3
                 
1992 4.4   3.9 4.9   3.7 5.0 8.2
1993 4.5   4.6 4.3   3.9 5.8 6.7
1994 5.3   5.2 5.4   4.2 6.6 10.0
1995 5.7   6.2 5.3   4.5 6.4 12.4
1996 5.0   5.0 5.1   4.1 6.7 9.0
                 
1997 4.6   5.0 4.1   3.6 5.0 9.5
1998 4.8   4.6 4.9   3.9 5.2 9.4
1999 5.0   4.6 5.4   4.0 6.5 7.8
2000 4.8   5.5 4.1   4.1 6.1 7.4
2001 5.0   5.6 4.3   4.1 6.3 8.8
                 
2002 3.6   3.7 3.4   2.6 4.9 5.8
2003 4.0   4.2 3.8   3.2 4.8 7.1
2004 4.7   5.1 4.3   3.7 5.7 8.9
2005 3.8   4.2 3.4   2.8 7.3 5.0
! Interpret data with caution. Because of relatively large standard errors, estimates are unstable.
1 Estimates beginning in 1987 reflect new editing procedures for cases with missing data on school enrollment items. Estimates beginning in 1992 reflect new wording of the educational attainment item. Estimates beginning in 1994 reflect changes due to newly instituted computer–assisted interviewing. For details about changes in the Current Population Survey (CPS) over time, please see Kaufman, Alt, and Chapman (2004).
2 Beginning in 2003, respondents were able to identify themselves as being “more than one race.” The 2003 through 2005 White, non–Hispanic and Black, non–Hispanic categories consist of individuals who considered themselves to be one race and who did not identify as Hispanic. The Hispanic category includes Hispanics of all races and racial combinations. Because of small sample size for some or all of the years shown in the table, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders are included in the totals but not shown separately. The “more than one race” category is also included in the total in 2003 through 2005 but not shown separately because of small sample size.
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.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October (1972–2005).

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