America has a 28% high school dropout rate

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Our country is in serious trouble.
Already, having a high school diploma only equips one for low-wage service-sector jobs in America’s post-industrial post-manufacturing economy. Not to be a high school graduate is downright economically suicidal. I’m not sure even fast food joints will hire a high school dropout for their minimum-wage hamburger flipper jobs. has an interactive map of the dropout rates of America’s 50 states.
dropout rates
Nationwide, America’s high school dropout rate is a staggering 28%. That means more than 1 out of every 4 students never graduate from high school. Here are the dropout rates by race/ethnicity:

  • American Indian: 46% (nearly 1 of every 2!)
  • Black: 43%
  • Hispanic: 42%
  • White: 22%
  • Asian: 17%

Here are the dropout rates (from highest to lowest) for the 51 states and district:

  1. Nevada 43%
  2. Mississippi 38%
  3. District of Columbia 37%
  4. New Mexico 35%
  5. South Carolina 34%
  6. Georgia 32%
  7. Louisiana 32%
  8. Florida 31%
  9. Alabama 30%
  10. California 29%
  11. Alaska 27%
  12. Arizona 27%
  13. North Carolina 27%
  14. Arkansas 26%
  15. Delaware 26%
  16. New York 26%
  17. Washington 26%
  18. Connecticut 24%
  19. Hawaii 24%
  20. Indiana 24%
  21. Michigan 24%
  22. Rhode Island 24%
  23. Texas 24%
  24. Wyoming 24%
  25. Oregon 23%
  26. West Virginia 23%
  27. Colorado 22%
  28. Illinois 22%
  29. Kentucky 22%
  30. Oklahoma 22%
  31. Tennessee 22%
  32. Virginia 21%
  33. Maine 20%
  34. Ohio 20%
  35. Utah 20%
  36. Idaho 19%
  37. Kansas 19%
  38. Maryland 19%
  39. Pennsylvania 19%
  40. South Dakota 19%
  41. Montana 18%
  42. Nebraska 17%
  43. Massachusetts 16%
  44. Missouri 16%
  45. New Hampshire 15%
  46. Iowa 14%
  47. New Jersey 14%
  48. Minnesota 12%
  49. North Dakota 12%
  50. Vermont 10%
  51. Wisconsin 9%
I am a naturalized U.S. citizen who grew up poor in another place where there was no free K-12 public school education. How my hardworking struggling parents would have appreciated free education for their four children! Public schools are free in America, and yet nearly one of every four students in the U.S. never finish high school. Whose fault is that?
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0 responses to “America has a 28% high school dropout rate

  1. Homeschool Mama

    I’d like to say that the government plays a huge part in the entitlement mentality that has now affected multiple generations of families. Why work for anything, including grades, when all my needs are provided for me? Why save money to buy something when I can buy it on credit and then declare bankruptcy? The “poor” kids in our church go on more expensive field trips, and have more and better technology through government provisions than my children, and they are provided three meals a day and free tutoring. Any drop outs are NOT because of social inequity anymore.

  2. As a former primary education teacher I find these statistics appalling. I knew it was bad but didn’t think it was this horrible.

  3. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this informative post. This is just awful; however, this drop out rate in part is due to the entitlement mind-set of individuals who find that it is not worth their while to work, nor to finalize their high school education. This kind of expectation is a great sin, as it motivates people not to use the talents and gifts that God has given them, promoting slothfulness and a kick in the face at God. Amazing!

  4. This is total insanity. I had no idea the rate was that high. I went to a private high school so I never really witnessed a high drop out rate personally, I only heard the stories through friends at other schools. Of course that was 25 years ago so I know it has to be worse, but it is frightening. What do these people expect they are going to do with their lives? I’m going to reblog this to DCC. Keep up the great work. I really enjoy Fellowship of the Minds.

  5. Yea Nevada. They’re the idiots that keep electing Harry Reid.

  6. Great thing public education is, right?

  7. winstonsmith6079

    This is what we get for paying more, per student, on “education” than nearly any other country on the planet? And the “teachers” are demanding even more?

  8. Part 1
    Equality, Equality, Equality…”everyone HAS to be the same” Grading on curves. Everyone gets a trophy. “We don’t want to hurt someones feels” so we show reward even if you didn’t do as well. “You have money and I don’t so you need to (not help… but) give me some”
    We have and are dumbing down and penalizing those that have worked hard and there by showing that if you do excelerate, in anything, it means nothing!
    Part 2
    Parenting. Period!!! Stop trying to be the BFF
    Part 3
    Accountiblity and Self responsibilty. Which takes you back to Part 1. You are not equal get over it.
    Note: I just heard that our system is now looking at extending the school year. Yeap that will help keep more kids in school!!!
    God Help us!
    Semper Fi


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