National Institute on Aging

The Racial Gap in High School Dropout Rates and Completion Rates

2016117-copyA new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers a wealth of statistics on high school dropout rates and completion rates.

The data shows that in 2013, 9 percent of all African Americans ages 16 to 24 were not enrolled in schools and did not have a high graduation credential. For Whites, the figure was 4.7 percent.

For women only, 7.1 percent of African Americans ages 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school and did not have a high school diploma or equivalent. For White women the rate was 4 percent. For men, 10.1 percent of African Americans ages 16 to 24 did not have a high school credential compared to 5.4 percent of White men.

The report also includes what is called the adjusted cohort graduation rate. It shows what percentage of students entering ninth grade earned a high school diploma in the traditional four-year period. For Whites, the graduation rate was 87 percent. For African Americans, the figure was 71 percent. This large gap is far wider than the overall completion rate. This means, simply, that many African Americans take a longer time to complete their high school years than is the case for Whites.

The smallest gap in the adjusted cohort graduation rate between Blacks and Whites at the state level occurs in Hawaii. The largest high school completion rate gaps were in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The full report, Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2013, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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