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

Table 4.  Event dropout rates of 15– through 24–year–olds who dropped out of grades 1012, by family income: October 1972 through October 2005

Year1 Total
(percent)
  Family Income Percent2
Low income Middle income High income
           
1972 6.1   14.1 6.7 2.5
1973 6.3   17.3 7.0 1.8
1974 6.7  
1975 5.8   15.7 6.0 2.6
1976 5.9   15.4 6.8 2.1
           
1977 6.5   15.5 7.6 2.2
1978 6.7   17.4 7.3 3.0
1979 6.7   17.1 6.9 3.6
1980 6.1   15.8 6.4 2.5
1981 5.9   14.4 6.2 2.8
           
1982 5.5   15.2 5.6 1.8
1983 5.2   10.4 6.0 2.2
1984 5.1   13.9 5.1 1.8
1985 5.2   14.2 5.2 2.1
1986 4.7   10.9 5.1 1.6
           
1987 4.1   10.3 4.7 1.0
1988 4.8   13.7 4.7 1.3
1989 4.5   10.0 5.0 1.1
1990 4.0   9.5 4.3 1.1
1991 4.1   10.6 4.0 1.0
           
1992 4.4   10.9 4.4 1.3
1993 4.5   12.3 4.3 1.3
1994 5.3   13.0 5.2 2.1
1995 5.7   13.3 5.7 2.0
1996 5.0   11.1 5.1 2.1
           
1997 4.6   12.3 4.1 1.8
1998 4.8   12.7 3.8 2.7
1999 5.0   11.0 5.0 2.1
2000 4.8   10.0 5.2 1.6
2001 5.0   10.7 5.4 1.7
           
2002 3.6   7.7 3.6 1.7
2003 4.0   7.5 4.6 1.4
2004 4.7   10.4 4.6 2.5
2005 3.8   8.9 3.8 1.5
— Not available.
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 Low income is defined as the bottom 20 percent of all family incomes for the year; middle income is between 20 and 80 percent of all family incomes; and high income is the top 20 percent of all family incomes.
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.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October (1972–2005).

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