According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the status dropout rate, which represents the percentage of 16- through 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and have not earned a high school credential (either a diploma or an equivalent credential), declined from 12% in 1990 to 7% in 2010.
During that two-decade period, the status dropout rate was generally lowest among Asians/Pacific Islanders, who had a 4.2% status dropout rate in 2010. The status dropout rate was highest among Hispanics, whose rate in 2010 was a shade more than 15%.
However, that figure is a marked improvement from 1990, when Hispanics had a 32.4% status dropout rate. In fact, the status dropout rate for Hispanics has declined each year since 2005, a feat that was not even accomplished by Asian/Pacific Islanders.
The status dropout rate among whites also declined considerably since 1990, when it stood at 9%t. By 2010, that figure had dipped to 5.1%, which was still well below the national average of 7.4%. The steady decline in status dropout rate highlights the importance today's students must place on earning their high school diplomas or equivalent diplomas as they prepare to enter a competitive job market in which employers value education more and more.