Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. EA 1.4 High School Dropouts: Event Dropout Rate 9 for Grades 10 Through 12

01/01/2000

High school dropouts have lower earnings, experience more unemployment, and are more likely to end up on welfare than their peers who complete high school or college.10 Women who drop out of high school are more likely to become pregnant and give birth at a young age and are more likely to become single parents.11

Table EA 1.4 shows the event dropout rate (percentage) for students in grades 10 through 12, ages 15 through 24. Event dropout rates are measured by the proportion of students enrolled in grades 10 through 12 1 year earlier who were not enrolled and who had not completed high school in the year the data are reported. From 1975 to 1998, dropout rates fluctuated between 4 percent and 7 percent.12

Differences by Race and Hispanic Origin.13 In 1998, Hispanics had a higher dropout rate (9 percent) than whites (4 percent) or blacks (5 percent) (see Figure EA 1.4).14

 

9 Event dropout rates describe the proportion of students who leave school each year without completing a high school program. This is in contrast to status dropout rates, which provide cumulative data on dropouts among all young adults within a specified age range, and cohort dropout rates, which follow a particular cohort of students over time (McMillen and Kaufman, 1997).
10 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. 1998. The Condition of Education: 1998. NCES 98- 013. Indicators 31, 32, and 34. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
11 Marin, M.M., Chan, N., & Raymond, J. 1987. Consequences of the Process of Transition to Adulthood for Adult Economic Well Being. In R.G. Corin (ed.) Research in the Sociology of Education and Socialization. Greenwich, CT: JAI; Manlove, J. 1998. "The Influence of High School Dropout and School Disengagement on the Risk of School-Age Pregnancy." Journal of Research on Adolescence 8: 187-220.
12 The event dropout rate reached 7 percent in the years 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1979. Data for these years are not shown in Table EA 1.4.
13 Estimates for whites and blacks exclude Hispanics of those races.
14 The finding that Hispanics are more at risk of dropping out of school than either blacks or whites has been confirmed in other national data sets, such as High School and Beyond and the National Education Longitudinal Study (Ekstron, R., Goertz, M., Pollack, J., & Rock, D. 1987. Who Drops out of High School and Why? Findings from a National Study. In G. Natriello (ed.), School Dropouts: Patterns and Policies (pp. 52-69). New York: Teachers College Press; McMillen, M., & Kaufman, P. 1994. Dropout Rates in the United States: 1994. NCES 96-863. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics).

 

Table EA 1.4 Event dropout ratea (percentage) for youth in the United States in grades 10 through 12 (ages 15 through 24), by gender and by race and Hispanic origin:b Selected years, 1975-1998

  1975 1980 1985 1990d 1991d 1992d,e 1993d,e 1994d,e,f 1995d,e,f 1996d,e,f 1997d,e,f 1998d,e,f
Total 6 6 5 4 4 4 5 5 6 5 5 5
Male 5 7 5 4 4 4 5 5 6 5 5 5
Female 6 6 5 4 4 5 4 5 5 5 4 5
White b
Total 5 5 4 3 3 4 4 4 5 4 4 4
Male 5 6 5 4 3 4 4 4 5 4
Female 5 5 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4
Black b
Total 9 8 8 5 6 5 6 7 6 7 5 5
Male 8 8 8 4 5 3 6 7 8 5
Female 9 9 7 6 7 7 5 6 5 9
Hispanic c
Total 11 12 10 8 7 8 7 10 12 9 10 9
Male 10 18 9 9 10 8 5 9 12 10
Female 12 7 10 7 5 9 8 11 13 8

a The event dropout rate is the proportion of students enrolled in grades 10 through 12 1 year earlier who were not enrolled and not graduated in the year for which the data are presented. It is calculated using the Current Population Survey data from October of a given year.
b Non-Hispanic.
c Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
d Numbers for these years reflect new editing procedures instituted by the Bureau of the Census for cases with missing data on school enrollment items.
e Numbers for these years reflect new wording of the educational attainment item in the Current Population Survey.
f Numbers in this year may reflect changes in Current Population Survey due to newly instituted computer-assisted interviewing and/or due to the change in the population controls to the 1990 Census-based estimates, with adjustments for
undercount.
Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, unpublished tabulations; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 1996, Table A19, and Dropout Rates in the United States: 1997, Table B3; Dropout Rates in the United States: 1998, Table 1.

 

Figure EA 1.4 Event dropout rate a for youth in the United States in grades 10 through 12 (ages 15 through 24), by race and Hispanic origin: b Selected years, 1972-1998

a The event dropout rate is the proportion of students enrolled in grades 10 through 12 1 year earlier who were not enrolled and not graduated in the year for which the data are presented. It is calculated using the Current Population Survey data from October of a given year.
b Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, October (various years), unpublished tabulations; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 1997, Table B3; Dropout Rates in the United States: 1998, Table 1.
 

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