High School Graduations Increase But a Racial Gap Persists

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for the first time in history, in 2017 more than 90 percent of the adult population in the United States held a high school diploma or an equivalent credential.

For Black adults, 87 percent held a high school diploma. This had increased from 75 percent, 20 years earlier in 1997. A racial gap remains. Some 94 percent of White adults in 2017 held a high school diploma.

In 2017, there were still 2.7 million African American adults that had not graduated from high school. Another 700,000 Black adults who were not born in the United States but now live here, also did not possess a high school credential.

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