A Huge Racial Gap Persists in High School Graduation Rates

New data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that in 2008 there were 415,111 black graduates at public high schools in the United States. Only 61.5 percent of black students who were high school freshmen four years earlier earned their high school diploma in 2008. For white students, the high school graduation rate was 81.0 percent.

The highest black graduation rates were in the states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and North Dakota. The lowest black student high school graduation rates were in Indiana, Louisiana, and Alaska.