Black High School Completion Rates Vary to a Great Degree in the 50 States

In order to go on to college, obviously a high school diploma is a necessity. Nationwide only 72.3 percent of all black adults hold a high school diploma. Therefore, a large segment of the adult black population lacks the necessary qualification for even considering higher education as a route to greater mobility and economic success.

A new Census Bureau report reveals for the first time the educational level of black adults in each region and each state at the time of the 2000 census. As expected, the southern states have the lowest percentages of blacks who hold a high school diploma.

An exception is the state of Georgia, where the percentage of blacks with a high school diploma is slightly higher than the national average.

The census statistics show that more than 90 percent of all blacks in Hawaii, North Dakota, and Montana in 2000 held a high school diploma. Alaska, Wyoming, Maine, Colorado, and New Hampshire also have a high percentage of blacks who have completed high school.

Among northern states, blacks in Wisconsin were the least likely to have a high school diploma. Low rates of high school completion for blacks also occur in New York and Rhode Island.