Over the Past 35 Years, High School Dropout Rates for Blacks Have Been Cut in Half

New data on high school dropout rates was recently released from the Department of Education. In 2005, 10.4 percent of all black youths ages 16 to 24 were either not currently enrolled in school, had not graduated from high school, or had not completed a high school equivalency course. For whites, 6 percent of all youths in this age bracket were dropouts.

The percentage of all youths who have failed to complete high school has declined in recent years for both blacks and whites. The 10.4 percent dropout rate for black youths and the 6 percent rate for white youths are the lowest since 1972.

Since 1972 the dropout rate for both whites and blacks in the 16- to 24-year-old age group has been cut in half.